Moscow says it's for people to decide if they want Ukraine part

Moscow says it's for people to decide if they want Ukraine part

Such an historic step must be decided by the people and be absolutely legit, Moscow said.

Moscow has said that it is for the people of Kherson Region in southern Ukraine to decide if they want to become part of Russia. The idea was made after a senior official in the Russian-controlled area made a statement.

The people of Kherson Region must decide whether such a request should be made or not, and the matter should be examined by legal experts, Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesman, told reporters on Wednesday.

Such a far-reaching decision must have a clear legal base and be absolutely legit, like it was with Crimea. Peskov said when asked whether he was talking about a referendum, he replied: I didn't say anything about a referendum. Russian troops captured Kherson in early March and occupied the whole region that borders Crimea. The deputy head of the administration, Kirill Stremousov, said on Wednesday that the new authorities plan to ask President Vladimir Putin to make the region a fully-fledged part of Russia. Stremousov pointed to Crimea, which voted to join Russia shortly after the coup in Kiev in 2014. He said that legal documents will be prepared by the end of the year, after which the final decision will be made.

In the meantime, we plan to rule the Kherson Region by the acts of the military-civil administration, Stremousov said.

The head of the administration, Vladimir Saldo, said on Monday that there were no official talks or plans to join Russia. He said it was his opinion that the region would become part of Russia one day.

Ukraine considers the new authorities in Kherson illegitimate. President Volodymyr Zelensky said in April that Kiev will abandon peace talks if Russia arranges a pseudo-referendum on the territories it controls.

In late February Russia attacked the neighboring state, after Ukraine failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied that it was planning to take the two republics by force.