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Crimea to hold referendum on joining Russian in ten days


The Parliament of Crimea voted unanimously to hold a referendum on leaving the Ukraine and joining Russia.

The US supported the breakup of Serbia and the Sudan based on the fact that a majority wanted to secede. However, the US government is opposed to giving the people of Crimea the same opportunity.

From AP…

Ukraine lurched toward breakup Thursday when lawmakers in Crimea unanimously declared they wanted to join Russia and would put the decision to voters in 10 days — and Russian lawmakers pushed a bill to facilitate a handover. President Barack Obama condemned the moves and the West answered with the first real sanctions against Russia.

Speaking from the White House, Obama said any decisions on the future of Crimea, a pro-Russian area of Ukraine, must include the country’s new government.

“The proposed referendum on the future of Crimea would violate the constitution and violate international law,” Obama said. “We are well beyond the days when borders can be redrawn over the heads of democratic leaders.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hand was almost certainly behind Thursday’s dramatic developments, but it was not clear whether he is aiming for outright annexation, or simply strengthening his hand in talks with the West.

The White House moved to impose financial sanctions and travel restrictions on opponents of Ukraine’s new government and the EU also announced limited punitive measures against Putin’s government, including the suspension of trade and visa talks. Both Washington and the EU said they were discussing further sanctions.

“I am confident that we are moving forward together, united in our determination to oppose actions that violate international law and to support the government and people of Ukraine,” Obama said.