KIEV, March 6 -- A court in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev has issued arrest warrants for the prime minister and parliament speaker of the country's autonomous republic of Crimea, the Prosecutor General's office said Wednesday.
Criminal charges had been brought against them and some other politicians in Crimea, said Ukraine's acting Prosecutor General Oleh Makhnytsky.
Last Thursday, the regional parliament of Crimea appointed Aksyonov, leader of the Russian Unity party, as prime minister in a closed session and announced that a referendum would be held over the future status of the territory on March 30.
Aksyonov said Saturday that he had asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to help ensure peace in the pro-Russian region.
Ukrainian Parliament Speaker Alexandr Turchynov, who is also the country's acting president, later signed a decree to reject Aksyonov's new capacity.
Crimea, home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet, has become the epicenter of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine since President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted by the parliament on Feb. 22.