Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree and posted it on the Kremlin’s website that recognizes the Crimea region of the Ukraine as a “sovereign and independent” state. The decree takes effect immediately and according to Putin marks the “will of the people” in Crimea as determined by a recent vote to secede from the Ukraine.
The vote to secede from the Ukraine was considered an illegal referendum by the United States and the European Union and a sanctions list has been imposed against leading Russian officials. Crimea defense minister Andriy Parubiy said the vote represents a “blatant aggression” and the seizure by Russia of parts of Crimea including the Black Sea city of Sevastopol.
President Putin has said that he will address both houses of the Russian parliament on Tuesday.
By Alana Marie Burke
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