Putin signs order to appoint Crimea's interim head

Vladimir-PutinMoscow, April 15 : Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an order appointing Sergei Aksyonov as the interim head of Crimea.

The order dated April 14 came into force immediately, after it was published on the legal information portal Tuesday, ITAR-TASS reported.

Putin Monday informed the prime minister of Crimea about his decision to appoint Aksyonov as the interim head of the Black Sea peninsula.

"The constitution of Crimea has been adopted, and according to the existing legislation of Russia, it is necessary to appoint an interim head of Crimea," Putin said.

"Aksyonov has done much for the reunification of Crimea with Russia. For this, the Crimeans and the whole of Russia are grateful to you," Putin added.

The Crimean parliament April 11 voted unanimously in favour of a new constitution that proclaims it as a legal and democratic state within the Russian Federation.

Approved by 88 Crimean lawmakers, the constitution, consisting of 10 chapters and 95 articles, envisages that Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean-Tatar languages would all be granted the status of official languages in Crimea.

Two government branches were created by the new constitution, a legislative branch, represented by the State Council, and an executive branch, represented by the Ministers' Council.

According to the document, the head of the republic would be the highest official in Crimea. Once endorsed by the State Council, the head will run the republic for five years.

The Crimean parliament declared independence from Ukraine March 17, after official results from a peninsula-wide referendum that showed 96.77 percent of Crimean voters in favour of joining Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Crimean leaders signed a treaty March 18, accepting the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as part of Russian territory.

Kiev has rejected the referendum, terming it unconstitutional. (IANS)