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MOSCOW, March 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian lawmakers have issued a statement on the situation in the Republic of Crimea. The document, submitted on Monday by the leaders of all four parliament factions and house speaker Sergei Naryshkin, was supported by 441 legislators, with one abstention.
"Welcoming the expression of will by the Crimean people at the March 16 referendum on accession of the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to Russia, the State Duma proceeds from the standpoint that the government bodies operating on the territory of Crimea will be maintaining inter-faith accord and language diversity of the republic," the document said.
Russian lawmakers assured that they would contribute to the socio-economic development of Crimea and the welfare of its population during the transition period. "The State Duma will contribute to ensuring the safety of all people staying in Crimea, regardless of their citizenship, nationality, language or religion, and to observing their legitimate rights and freedoms," according to the document.
Two questions were put up for the Crimean referendum on March 16: Do you support accession of Crimea to the Russian Federation as a subject of the Russian Federation? and Do you support restoration of 1992 Crimean Constitution and Crimea's status as a part of Ukraine?
Head of the referendum commission of Crimea's Supreme Council Mikhail Malyshev said 96.77% of people who had taken part in the plebiscite voted for joining Russia. The turnout stood at 83.1%.
On Monday evening, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree recognizing the Republic of Crimea as a sovereign and independent state.