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96.6 per cent voted to join Russia in disputed Crimea poll: Final results

Published on Mar 17, 2014 2:57 PM
Crimea's Prime Minister Sergiy Aksyonov leaves the polling station after voting in a a local school on March 16, 2014 in Simferopol. Mr Aksyonov on Monday, March 17, 2014, said 96.6 per cent of voters casting ballots in a weekend poll chose to break off from Ukraine and join Russia. -- PHOTO: AFP

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AFP) - Crimea is due to formally apply to join Russia on Monday after voting to split from Ukraine, as Europe prepares to hit Moscow with a wave of sanctions in the worst East-West stand-off since the Cold War.

An overwhelming 96.6 per cent of voters on the mostly Russian-speaking peninsula chose to secede from Ukraine, according to final results from Sunday’s referendum, which the Kremlin is accused of orchestrating.

Crimea’s regional assembly will meet early Monday to apply to merge with Russia, a process that could take months and is mired in uncertainty for a region that remains heavily dependent on the Ukraine mainland.

There was sharp international condemnation of the vote, which could see the most radical redrawing of the map of Europe since Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia.

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