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WASHINGTON, March 13. /ITAR-TASS/. The US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee has passed a bill authorizing sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian officials deemed by Washington to be guilty of corruption and responsible for violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty, including visa bans and the freezing of their US accounts.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych left Ukraine in February after a coup in his country. He told reporters in southern Russia on Tuesday that he remained the legitimate Ukrainian leader despite “an anti-constitutional seizure of power by armed radicals.” Russia considers Yanukovych the legitimate Ukrainian president.
Russia has said the decision of the Crimean parliament to hold the plebiscite is legitimate but the self-proclaimed new Ukrainian authorities and the West have cried foul over the upcoming referendum claiming it would be “illegitimate”.