Putin pledges to deal with issue of Crimean Tatars' rehabilitation

President Vladimir Putin said that the issue of Crimean Tatars' rehabilitation would be given due attention and that he could meet with activists of Crimea's Tatar community.

President Vladimir Putin said that the issue of Crimean Tatars' rehabilitation would be given due attention and that he could meet with activists of Crimea's Tatar community.

Earlier, President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, urged Putin to have the Law on the Rehabilitation of the Peoples that Suffered from Political Reprisals applied to the Crimean Tatars.

"I have been to Crimea three times. There are several pressing issues which I would like to speak about and get your approval. They fell victim to political reprisals 70 years ago. You said in clear terms in your message that, in any case, the Law on Rehabilitation, passed by the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation on April 26 1991, should be applied to the Crimean Tatars, as well. This would provide serious moral incentives for the Crimean Tatars," Minnikhanov told Putin on Tuesday.

"Activists of the Crimean Tatar community would like to meet with you, if you find this possible," the Tatarstan president said.

He also proposed that the predominantly Tatar areas in Crimea should be given legal status. "The places of residence, the settlements, should be given a legal status. Second, a program should be adopted for building infrastructure. We discussed this issue with our counterparts in the Crimean government. Your support would be important here," Minnikhanov said.

"I promise to have all of these three issues looked at carefully. Concerning social infrastructure - schools, child-care centers, etc. - we will definitely deal with this, hopefully with Tatarstan's participation," Putin said.

Putin urged Minnikhanov "to join the efforts of lawyers, the presidential administration and State Duma to draft relevant bills.

"We will do so actively," Minnikhanov said.

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