Crimean council sets date for referendum on rejoining Russia
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The Supreme Council of Crimea decided on Thursday to hold a referendum March 16 on whether the region should remain in Ukraine or become part of Russia. Earlier in the week, Ukraine’s election commission had said such a move was unconstitutional.
“This is our response to the disorder and lawlessness in Kiev,” Sergei Shuvainikov, a member of the Crimean legislature, said Thursday. “We will decide our future ourselves.”
The legislature enjoys a degree of autonomy under Ukrainian law. Its members are strongly pro-Russian. There were 78 votes for the referendum, none against and eight abstentions.
The body also passed a resolution on Thursday asking Vladimir Putin to take Crimea back into Russia.
There was no immediate response from the Ukrainian central government to the vote. Earlier in the week, Ukraine’s election commission said a referendum in Crimea was unconstitutional. On Wednesday, Ukraine's prime minister told The Associated Press that Crimea would remain part of Ukraine.
(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP)
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