The Crimean parliament declared official independence Monday morning after the Ukraine region held a Sunday referendum on aligning with Russia. The referendum outcome came to be positive with 97 percent backing Russia, with 83 percent of Crimeans who voted.
Following the ratification of the referendum, Crimea’s parliament nationalized Ukraine state property on its territory and disbanded Ukrainian military units in the region.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin signed a presidential decree stating the nation will now recognize Crimea as its own state. The decree states Russia sees Crimea “a sovereign and independent state.” [Official decree via the Russian Presidential Administration]
“If Russia continues to interfere in Ukraine, we stand ready to impose further sanctions,” United States President Barack Obama stated Monday morning. The U.S. government announced additional sanctions against Russian officials for the country’s involvement in Ukraine. New sanctions include the freezing of American assets of Russian officials.
The European Union imposed more sanctions against members of the Russian administration. 21 people from both Ukraine’s Crimea region and Russia, who were involved in the Ukraine unrest, now have EU travel bans and frozen assets.
Russia’s upper house speaker of the state’s parliament Valentina Matviyenko called the additional sanctions imposed by the United States “political blackmail.”
NATO also pledged closer cooperation with the Ukrainian government.
After the independence declaration this morning, the Crimea government also has announced moving quickly to integrate financially with Russia. They state they want to taken on the Russian currency of rubles just as how Russia has announced sending 1 billion rubles in “the coming days.”
“Russia’s Foreign Ministry urged Ukraine’s parliament to call a constitutional assembly that could draft a new constitution to make the country federal, handing more power to its regions. It also said the country should adopt a ‘neutral political and military status,’ a demand reflecting Moscow’s concern that Ukraine might join NATO and establish closer political and economic ties with the EU.”
Ukraine will never accept Crimea annexation by Russia, Ukraine’s acting president Oleksander Turchinov stated in a television statement to the nation Monday. He stated the Kyiv capital government is still willing to hold talks with Russia. It was also announced that Ukraine is deploying a partial mobilization of 40,000 reservists.