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Russia Renews Crimea Claims: Lawmakers Seek to Nullify Soviet Transfer

MOSCOW, Russia – In a move likely to further inflame tensions with Ukraine, two Russian lawmakers have submitted a bill to the State Duma seeking to invalidate the Soviet-era transfer of Crimea to Ukraine in 1954.

The legislation, introduced by Konstantin Zatulin and Sergey Tsekov, argues that the handover was unconstitutional and lacked proper legal justification. The bill claims the decision violated the constitutions of both the Russian and Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republics, along with principles of international law.

This latest attempt to challenge Ukrainian sovereignty over Crimea comes just weeks after the peninsula marked ten years since its annexation by Russia. The 2014 takeover, condemned by the international community, sparked a major crisis in Eastern Europe and ongoing tensions between Russia and the West.

The draft law argues that the 1954 transfer was “arbitrary” and lacked public approval, citing the absence of a referendum. It contends that Soviet authorities overstepped their bounds by transferring territory between constituent republics without proper consent.

The likelihood of the bill’s success remains unclear. While it might garner support within Russia, it’s certain to face strong opposition from Ukraine and be rejected by the international community. Analysts view the move as a symbolic gesture aimed at bolstering Russia’s historical claims to Crimea.

The development comes amidst a heightened state of alert across Eastern Europe as the war in Ukraine continues. The conflict has raised fresh concerns about the status of Crimea and the potential for further escalation between Russia and Ukraine.

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