Newscast Media MOSCOW—Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to
recognize Ukraine’s breakaway region of Crimea as an independent state, the Kremlin
press service said on Monday.
Russia also said that it recognizes Sevastopol, a Crimean port that houses the
Russian Black Sea fleet base, a city with a “special autonomous status” within the
Republic of Crimea.
The decree comes into full force immediately after being signed.
Crimea, the autonomous republic within Ukraine, has refused to recognize as
legitimate the new leadership in the country. A referendum held Sunday in the largely
Russian-ethnic autonomous republic saw over 96 percent of voters support
reunification with Russia.
On Tuesday, Putin will address an assembly of both houses of parliament, as well as
heads of regions and representatives of public organizations about Crimea’s
Source: Ria Novosti
Newscast Media MOSCOW—The people have spoken. Crimeans have voted in a
referendum to join Russia after a coup in Ukraine forced its President Viktor
Yanukovych to seek refuge in Russia. With over half the votes in, election officials
say that over 95 percent of Crimeans have voted in favor of joining Russia.
Russia could absorb Crimea in a matter of weeks, the head of the region’s parliament
told RIA Novosti in an exclusive interview.
Barack Obama called and spoke to Putin, rejecting the results because of an alleged
violation of the Ukrainian Constitution. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>
Newscast Media LONDON—Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister
Sergei Lavrov are holding talks in London on the Ukraine crisis.
Kerry, who has warned that the West would take “very serious steps” if Russia goes
ahead with the annexation of Crimea, said before the meeting the two would discuss
how best to smooth over their differences.
“Obviously, we have a lot to talk about. I look forward to an opportunity to dig into
the issues and possibilities that we may be able to find about how to move forward
together to resolve some of the differences between us,” Kerry said.
Kerry was expected to tell Lavrov that Russia risks concerted international sanctions
because of the March 16 referendum on Crimea joining Russia.
Lavrov told reporters in London that precious time has been wasted in resolving the
crisis: “I am also satisfied to have this meeting today. This is a difficult situation we
are in. Many events have happened and a lot of time has been lost, so now we have
to see what can be done.”
Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that overnight violence in
eastern Ukraine demonstrates that authorities in Kiev are losing control and that
Russia reserves the right to protect its citizens.
Source: Radio Free Europe