On 12 March in Moscow  the Russian President Vladimir Putin had a half-hour conversation with leader of the Crimean Tatars, Mustafa Jamil. Mediator in the conversation was ex-President Mintimer Shaimiyev.It can be concluded from an interview of  Putin with Mustafa Jamil that Putin wanted to obtain  support of the leader of the Crimean Tatars and persuade him to support the annexation of Crimea by Russia.

“Initially, I had a meeting with the former President of Tatarstan,  Shaimiyev. We exchanged views on the current situation in Crimea and Ukraine, the sides exchanged views on the status of the Tatar population,” said Jamil. ” Shaimiev could not answer questions about the actions of the Russian military and their withdrawal from the Crimea, but said  that the  Russian president wanted  to talk to me,” added Jamil.

He replied that first he should obtain the consent of the Ukrainian leadership to such a meeting , and after obtaining the consent of the Prime Minister Yatsenyuk , a conversation with Putin  was held.

“For half an hour Putin listened to my opinions about events and expressed his vision. Our estimates on what is happening in the Crimea dispersed. However, we were unanimous  only in the opinion that it is necessary to avoid bloodshed. Putin requested that the Tatars did not intervene in the conflict, and did not respond to provocations. I said that the Tatars will do everything possible, but not everything depends on us, and if collisions begin, it will be impossible to  control the situation, and all  parties will be involved  in the conflict,” said Jamil.

He stressed the need for the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Crimea and respect for the territorial integrity of Ukraine. “We support the idea of increasing the autonomy of Crimea, but we are categorically against the separation of the peninsula and its transfer to another state. Putin did not agree with me and offered to await the result of the referendum, although we regard the referendum illegal and the results are clear in advance, Russia’s policy in this regard is quite obvious,” said Mustafa Jamil.

* Jamil spent 15 years in Soviet prisons for defending the rights of the Crimean Tatars. He is the organizers of the movement for the return of Tatars in Crimea. Prior to November 2013  he was the head of Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars. Currently Jamil is a member of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and the most respected and authoritative representative of the Tatar population of Crimea and  in all Ukraine. -03В-