Putin takes first steps for Russia to absorb Crimea
Published on Mar 18, 2014 4:07 PM
MOSCOW (AFP) - President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday took the first steps to absorb the Ukrainian region of Crimea into Russia, in what would mark the most significant redrawing of Europe's borders since World War II.
Putin officially informed parliament of Crimea's request to join Russia and instructed the national branches of power to approve an agreement for Crimea to become part of the country.
He was due to address both houses of parliament after recognising Crimea's independence late Monday in what was seen as the initial step towards it becoming Russian territory.
The seizure of Crimea by pro-Russian forces following the ousting Ukraine's pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych last month has been condemned around the world and the United States and European Union on Monday issued the first sanctions against a handful of Russian officials.
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