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Ukraine: Putin approves draft bill for Russia to annex Crimea

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Ewen MacAskill, Shaun Walker in Sevastopol, Dan Roberts
London Guardian
March 18, 2014

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has approved a draft bill for the annexation of Crimea following a referendum in the peninsula that overwhelmingly supported seceding from Ukraine.

In an address to a joint session of Russia’s parliamentary houses scheduled for 11am GMT today, Putin will deliver his position on the hugely contentious Crimean question. His is expected to set the stage for parliament to approve the absorption of Crimea.

The US and the EU retaliated over the referendum – which the west considers illegal – with sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian officials on Monday, a move widely seen as “toothless”.

The White House imposed sanctions against 11 named individuals: seven senior Russian politicians and officials and four Crimea-based separatist leaders accused of undermining the “democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine”.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 6:27 am

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