11:58 27.02.2014

Crimean Tatars' wellbeing rests upon neighborly relations with Russians, Ukrainians - congress

2 min read

The Kazan-headquartered World Congress of Tatars, an international union of public organizations, has expressed its concern about the future of Crimean Tatars amid the escalating tensions on the peninsula.

"The Tatar public is following with great anxiety the situation, which is taking shape in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Events have taken a dramatic turn over the past few days. Extremist forces have manifested themselves amidst the disturbances," says a congress statement published on its website on Thursday.

"Under these circumstances we cannot stay indifferent to the future of our blood brothers, the Crimean Tatars, whose tragic history is well known," the statement said.

"They went through multiple ordeals, returned to their homeland and started to settle down. Yet this process may be disrupted if the political radicalism embodied by Kyiv Maidan in the interests of certain political groups spreads into Crimea," it said.

The congress urged all peoples of Ukraine to be wise and put an end to the disturbances.

"We are confident that the wellbeing of Crimean Tatars rests upon mutual understanding and neighborly relations with Russians and Ukrainians. We see the Crimean future in the constitution and laws of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, with due account of the interests of its multinational people. In our view, this is the only way to preserve peace and concord on the Crimean territory," the statement concluded.

The World Congress of Tatars was founded at the first meeting of the World Forum of Tatars in Kazan in June 1992 with the purpose of coordination of the activity of national cultural organizations and Tatar communities in Russian regions, former Soviet republics and other countries.

Currently, the congress unites 352 national cultural organizations, among them 122 based abroad.

Over 11 million Tatars live worldwide, including 5.5 million in Russia - 2 million of them in Tatarstan.

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