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Crimea Passes Vote To Secede From Ukraine, Likely Will Join Russia

Posted on March 17, 2014

Russia gave its clearest signal yet Monday that it plans to move fast to annex Crimea, defying U.S. and European threats of sanctions a day after a referendum in the breakaway Ukrainian region to secede passed handily.

The Moscow-backed leadership of Crimea wasted no time in formally asking to join Russia following the hastily called referendum in which 97% of voters supported becoming part of Russia.

“We will take care of our part quickly, quickly and responsibly,” Sergei Naryshkin, speaker of the lower house of Russia’s parliament, told reporters in response to the Crimean parliamentary vote, according to local news agencies.

Mr. Naryshkin’s comments came shortly after officials announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin will address a joint session of parliament Tuesday on the issue.

The Kremlin didn’t immediately specify what Mr. Putin’s message would be, but the official ITAR-Tass news agency said the address would cover “accepting Crimea into the Russian Federation.”

European diplomats gathered in Brussels to finalize sanctions aimed at deterring Moscow from annexing Crimea, a move the U.S. and Europe argue is illegal and illegitimate. Diplomats said those sanctions are likely to be limited to a small number of Russian and Crimean officials, however.

The new government in Crimea didn’t even wait for formal acceptance from Moscow before saying it would adopt the Russian ruble and shift the region’s clocks two hours ahead to match Moscow time.

In Kiev, Ukrainian Defense Minister Ihor Tenyukh showed no signs of going along with the process, telling reporters that authorities had agreed to a “truce” with Crimean leaders until Mar. 21 around the Ukrainian bases on the peninsula.

“Our servicemen remain in Crimea and are not going anywhere. Crimea is and will be Ukrainian,” he said.

Ukraine and Russia have been at odds since the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych ushered in an opposition, pro-Western government. Russia has insisted it has the right to protect Russian speakers, many of whom live in the southern and eastern parts of the country.

Also Monday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry released Monday what it said were its basic proposals for resolving the crisis.

They included a guarantee backed by the United Nations Security Council of Ukraine’s status as a neutral country, as well as a constitutional assembly that would rewrite the document to give regions greater autonomy, including in foreign policy, and also formalize Russian as a second official language alongside Ukrainian. The proposal also called for respecting the results of Sunday’s vote in Crimea.

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6 thoughts on “Crimea Passes Vote To Secede From Ukraine, Likely Will Join Russia

  1. Ben Doverski says:

    This will not please Tweedeededum Abdul Soetero or Tweedledeedee Kerry with the Fringe on Top, when with all the panache and elan and natural je ne sais quois of a pair of village idiots, like two undescended testicles, they are now rushing around trying frantically to find a reason such as a newly vacated scrotum in which to start a brand new War with the Russian Bear.

  2. ncbill12 says:

    And what will they do when Russia decides to occupy Ukraine up to the Dnieper?

  3. Fair's fair. The democratic vote was clear to secede, we can respect that decision.

  4. Robert What? says:

    How rich hearing Obama talk about the violation of the Ukraine Constitution. When did Obama start caring about Constitutions? Did I miss something?

  5. How is it secession when Crimea wants to be part of a large nation?

  6. Putin saw an opportunity, given weak US leadership and economic problems in both the US and Europe. With regard to Europe their desire to stand up to Putin is further weakened due to their dependence on Russian oil and gas with no substantial replacement sources. Again our current leadership's refusal to develop both our resources has impacted our ability to support our allies when quasi-dictators impose their will on other nations. This is what happens when you allow tyrants to operate unchallenged. I know many will want to accept Putin's weak excuse this action was only to protect Russian speaking populations. That is garbage and we can expect more attempt to re-establish the USSR as he sees opportunities.

    It is time for American to recognize, like it or not, our leadership and strength is necessary to prevent despots over the world from taking similar actions to increase their wealth, influence, and power. For the USA this means our President, Congress, and Judiciary need to operate in the way our founders intended, and accept the fact that bad people and regimes have always and will always exist throughout the world, and it incumbent up America and its allies to be prepared to stand up for right and oppose wrong. That requires that we maintain substantial military strength, quit trying to become a welfare state instead of an opportunity state, and recognize that our judo-christian morality is and should be the basis of our laws, our strength and our freedom.

    As for the current Putin escapade we need to immediately enact all sanctions possible. In addition the weapons treaty recently enacted should be overturned, any Country with a Constitutional democracy should be allowed to join NATO, and we should be prepared to defend the sovereignty of those Country's who are allowed to join NATO. We should have learned that Putin or his ilk cannot be trusted to uphold any agreement.