Crimea’s parliament votes to join Russia

Crimea’s parliament votes to join Russia



Crimea’s parliament voted unanimously on Thursday in favor of becoming part of Russia. On March 16th, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, southern Ukraine, will hold a referendum on the decision.

Crimea’s First Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Temirgaliev made the announcement at a news conference. He said the parliament has made a historic decision to join Russia.

Temirgaliev said that residents will be asked whether they support separation from Ukraine to become independent, as well as inclusion in the Russian Federation.

The referendum will be held on March 16th. It had been scheduled to be held on March 30th, but Crimea’s government has moved the date forward by 2 weeks.

Ukraine’s interim Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk told reporters in Brussels on Thursday that this is an illegitimate decision and this so-called referendum has no legal grounds at all.

On Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin told reporters that Russia was not considering adding Crimea to its federation.

In the lower house of Russia’s parliament, a ruling party has submitted a revised bill to make it easier for territories to join Russia. According to the bill, Russia will annex a territory when its central government does not work and residents approve it in a referendum. Deliberation on the bill is expected to begin next week.

Source: NHK