SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine -- The body representing the Crimean Tatars, the Mejlis, has called on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to moderate a land dispute over the Yani Kyrym (New Crimea) settlement.
Private companies are trying to acquire the territory for development, although the land belongs to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and was occupied by Crimean Tatar repatriates from Central Asia several years ago.
Mejlis deputy chairman Refat Chubarov told RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service on February 2 that PACE was asked to intervene to ensure a peaceful solution.
The Crimean Tatars were deported from the Crimean Peninsula to Central Asia by Soviet leader Josef Stalin in the 1940s. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 they started returning to Crimea and resettling the land they once occupied.