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Ukraine crisis: Russia parliament will respect Crimea's 'historic' referendum choice

Published on Mar 7, 2014 3:14 PM
 
Ukranian pro-Russian protesters demonstrate outside the air base in Belbek, near Sevastopol, on March 6, 2014. Russia's parliament will respect the "historic choice" to be made by Crimea when the Ukrainian region's people vote in a referendum on joining Russia later this month, the speaker of the Russian lower house said. -- PHOTO: AFP

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia's parliament will respect the "historic choice" to be made by Crimea when the Ukrainian region's people vote in a referendum on joining Russia later this month, the speaker of the Russian lower house said.

"We will respect the historic choice of the people of Crimea," said State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin, in comments strongly implying that the Russian legislature would ratify a vote in favour of joining Russia.

"We support the free and democratic choice of the population of Crimea," he added, quoted by Russian news agencies at a meeting with Crimean lawmakers.