Staunton, July 13 – Remzi Ilyasov, deputy head of the Moscow-imposed State Council of Crimea, says that a World Congress of Crimean Tatars scheduled to be held in Ankara July 31 through August 2 are “a very dangerous measure” that will only be the occasion for making “some sort of declarations” against Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.
His comments suggest that Simferopol and Moscow behind it will do everything they can to play down the significance of this meeting and likely block anyone in territories under their control from attending – or refusing to allow them back into Crimea if they do so.
“A number of critics both in the diaspora and in the national movement have said that it is necessary to convene” such a meeting or simply disband the organization, Ilyasov says. But “why conduct it now when it does nothing? I support it will have only one goal: the reelection of a chairman” who will then make anti-Russian declarations.
The occupation official added that his regime would organize a much more important meeting on July 25 “the participation of society in order to discuss the situation connected with the holding of the upcoming World Congress of Crimean Tatars” and to ensure that everyone understands what is at stake.
“We know,” Ilyasov continues, “what the Crimean Tatars who live in Crimea can expect as a result of this Congress. One must not expect anything good for us from this. To take part in a congress where your compatriots will be condemned and where your country, your Crimea, is denounced is something,” he said, he “would not want to do.”
In reporting Ilyasov’s remarks, the Crimean Tatar news agency QHA points out that those Crimean Tatars “who work in the government bodies of Russian Crimea have for a long time already been carrying out efforts to discredit the Second World Congress of Crimean Tatars” and spread falsehoods about it via the Internet.
Further, QHA notes, Refat Chubarov, the chairman of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis (Assembly), added that FSB (Federal Security Service) officers are involved in this effort as well. But despite this effort, he and others expect Crimean Tatars from many countries, “including occupied Crimea,” to attend and vote on the leadership and direction of the organization.
This will be the second such congress. The first was held in Simferopol in May 2009 before the Russian Anschluss. Some 800 deputies representing more than 160 Crimean Tatar organizations from twelve countries took part in that meeting. Moscow and Russian-occupied Simferopol will seek to keep the numbers this time much smaller.