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National Security Council acting head: Ukraine decides to quit CIS

March 19, 2014, 23:38 UTC+3 KIEV
The decision was made at meeting of National Security council and defense of Ukraine
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© Council secretary of Ukraine Andrey Paruby

KIEV, March 19, /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine has announced that it is quitting the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS, a loose association of former Soviet republics).

“The decision was made at a meeting of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council,” acting Council secretary Andrey Paruby said Wednesday.

“The decision was made to not only halt [Ukraine’s] presidency in the CIS but to also start withdrawing from the CIS,” Paruby said.

The developments came after the Republic of Crimea, where most residents are Russians, held a referendum on March 16, in which some 97 percent of the population voted for Crimea to secede from Ukraine and become part of Russia. On Tuesday, Russia and Crimea signed in Moscow a treaty on Crimea’s accession to the Russian Federation as a constituent member.

Russia does not recognize the current Ukrainian authorities who seized power as a result of a coup in Ukraine in February. Russia considers Viktor Yanukovich, who left Ukraine last month citing security concerns, Ukraine’s legitimate leader.

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