Russia says not behind entry-ban decision: Tatar leader

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Crimean Tatar leader Kirimoglu says he will return to the peninsula amid rumors he is banned

Crimean Tatar leader Kirimoglu says he will return to the peninsula amid rumors he is banned

DONETSK - Crimean Tatar leader Abdulcemil Kirimoglu has said that Russian authorities have informed him he is not barred from entering the Russian Federation, despite rumors to the contrary.

“When I was going from Crimea to Kiev on Tuesday, I was stopped at a security checkpoint. Unidentified gunmen forced me to sign an unofficial paper that says that I was barred from entering Russian soils until 19 April 2019,” he told Anadolu Agency.

Kirimoglu added that when he talked with Russian officials, they also told the Crimean Parliament also said it had not made such a decision.

Kirimoglu said he will return to the peninsula next week and will see whether such a ban was operational. 

“If I am barred from entering, I will take necessary measures,” he said without elaborating.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has condemned the rumored decision and sent a diplomatic note to Russia.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry has warned that such a ban was a source of concern for peace and security in Crimea. “Turkey hopes that the rumors are not true,” the ministry added.

Russia annexed Crimea after a disputed referendum on 16 March following the political crisis in Ukraine. Crimea's 300,000 Tatars largely boycotted the referendum.

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