Crimea parliament asks to join Russia

MOSCOW - MPs in Crimea have asked Moscow to allow the southern Ukrainian region to become part of the Russian Federation.

Parliament said if its request was granted, Crimean citizens could give their view in a referendum on 16 March.

A government minister in Kiev said it would be unconstitutional for Crimea to join Russia.

Crimea, a region whose population is mostly ethnic Russian, has been at the centre of tensions following the fall of Ukraine's pro-Moscow president.

Pro-Russian and Russian forces have been in de facto control of the peninsula, which already enjoys a degree of autonomy from Kiev, for several days.

The announcement from Crimea's parliament comes as EU leaders meet in Brussels to discuss how to respond to Russia's troop deployment on Ukrainian soil.

Meanwhile, Washington says it is issuing visa restrictions on a number of Ukrainian and Russian officials and individuals in line with a policy "to deny visas to those responsible for, or complicit in, threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine".

The Crimean parliament resolved "to enter into the Russian Federation with the rights of a subject of the Russian Federation".

In a statement on its website, parliament said it had asked Russian President Vladimir Putin "to start the procedure" of formally allowing Crimea to join the Russian Federation.

"This means we have reunited with our motherland which we have been a part of for so long," said Crimea's deputy parliamentary speaker, Sergei Tsekov.

The Kremlin said President Putin was aware of developments in the Crimean parliament, but no response has yet been made public.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.