KIEV, March 17, /ITAR-TASS/. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry urged the international community not to recognise the Republic of Crimea, which proclaimed independence from Ukraine on Monday, March 17.
“Since the independence of Crimea was proclaimed by an illegitimate body after an anti-constitutional referendum conducted in gross violation of European norms and standards for holding referendums, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs earnestly requests all members of the international community to refrain from international recognition of the ‘Republic of Crimea’,” the ministry said.
At an extraordinary session on March 17, the Crimean parliament adopted a resolution on the independence of Crimea. It was supported by 85 of 100 deputies present. It also asked Russia to admit Crimea as its new constituent member.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a degree recognising the Republic of Crimea as a sovereign and independent state.
“1. Considering the will of the peoples of Crimea expressed at the all-Crimea referendum on March 16, 2014, I hereby decree that the Republic of Crimea, where the city of Sevastopol has a special status, be recognised as a sovereign and independent state,” the decree said.
The decree entered into force upon signature, the presidential press service said.
Putin will address the Federal Assembly (Russian parliament) at 15:00 Moscow time on March 18 in connection with Crimea’s and Sevastopol’s appeals for accession to Russia.
The heads of factions in the State Duma (lower house of Russian parliament) and its Speaker Sergei Naryshkin will submit a statement in support of the referendum on March 16, in which the Republic of Crimea proclaimed independence from Ukraine.
The Duma will discuss the statement on March 18, First Deputy Speaker Ivan Melnikov said on Monday, March 17.
“Now that the Supreme Soviet of Crimea has adopted all the necessary decisions, the statement on Crimea will be number one issue on the State Duma’s agenda tomorrow,” he said, adding that it would be submitted by four faction leaders and Sergei Naryshkin.
Just Russia party Sergei Mironov said earlier that the Duma would support the referendum in Crimea.
“The State Duma is preparing a draft [statement] on the situation in Crimea, and we express our unconditional support for the results of the referendum. We ask the present authorities of Crimea to ensure the security of people, equality and normal socioeconomic conditions for the life of all residents of Crimea,” Mironov said.
In the referendum held on March 16, two questions were asked:
1. Do you support Crimea’s reunification with Russia as its constituent member?
2. Do you support the restoration of the Constitution of the Republic of Crimea of 1992 and the status of Crimea as a part of Ukraine?
The ballots in Sevastopol also included a question on its accession to Russia as a city with a special status.
Mikhail Malyshev, head of the Crimean parliament commission that organised the referendum, said 96.77 percent of people who came to the polling stations voted for Crimea’s accession to Russia.
In Sevastopol, 95.6 percent of people who voted in the referendum also supported accession to Russia.