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Crimea Parliament Ask To Join Russia

Crimea Parliament Ask To Join Russia

The Crimean parliament resolved to enter into the Russian Federation with the rights of a subject of the Russian Federation. In a statement parliament said, it had asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to start the procedure of formally allowing Crimea to join the Russian Federation. The Kremlin said President Putin was aware of developments in the Crimean parliament, but no response has yet been made public.

If Russia agrees to Crimea's request, the Crimean people will be asked in the 16 March referendum, the statement says. According to Article 73 of the Ukraine constitution shall be resolved exclusively by an all-Ukrainian referendum. The move by Crimea's parliament will significantly increase tensions as Western diplomats try to draw political leaders in Ukraine and Russia into negotiations to prevent a full Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The key relationship at this summit will be between Germany and Poland. Germany has the economic clout with Moscow; Poland will be wary of signalling weakness and division. US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are in Rome for a long-planned conference on Libya, but it is thought they may continue their discussions on Ukraine.

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.

ENDS

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