Referendum in Crimea may be held before March 30 – head of Crimean government

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

SIMFEROPOL. March 4 (Interfax) – Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov said a referendum may be held in Crimea before March 30.

“I think the referendum will be held even before March 30. We will make this decision in a working group [on the organization of the referendum] and we will try to fully learn what the people of Crimea want and we will act in accordance with the opinion of the people of Crimea,” he told a press conference in Simferopol on Tuesday.

Aksyonov said the question asked at the referendum may be expanded. However, he did not specify what changes may be made to it.

He also called on everyone to expect a decision of the working group, whose decision will be announced on Tuesday afternoon.

Aksyonov said the Crimean parliament will also meet referendum and its date.

Aksyonov said he became prime minister of Crimea with Viktor Yanukovych’s consent.

“I was appointed prime minister of Crimea with the consent of President Yanukovych, who legally remains president,” he said.

Aksyonov added that he was appointed commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Crimea by the presidium of the Supreme Council of Crimea.

Aksyonov also said that he currently does not maintain any communication with Yanukovych. “There is no need for that,” he said.

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia