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Russian Authorities Deny Dzhemliev Barred From Entering Crimea

Russian authorities are denying that the veteran leader of the Crimean Tatars, Mustafa Dzhemilev, had been barred from entering Crimea for five years.

The Crimean Tatars' self-governing body, the Mejlis, said April 22 that Russian border guards had given Dzhemilev a document saying he was persona non grata in Crimea until 2019.

The deputy chief of the Russian Migration Service's temporary unit in Crimea, Yury Zvyagintsev, said April 23 that the unit has never issued such a document to Dzhemilev.

A Russian lawmaker, Sergei Tsekov, who represents the newly-annexed Crimea in Russia's Federation Council, also rejected reports of a ban on Dzhemilev, calling them "lies."

Crimea's acting leader, Sergei Aksyonov, said Dzhemilev was always welcome in Crimea - but only if he comes with "good intentions."

Some concerns have been raised about the future well-being of Crimea's indigenous Tatar Muslim minority following Russia's seizure of Crimea from Ukraine in March.
Based on reporting by RIA-Novosti and Interfax