Ukraine crisis: Russian lower house ratifies treaty on taking Crimea
Published on Mar 20, 2014 9:50 PM
MOSCOW (REUTERS) - Russia's lower house of parliament on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a treaty to annex Crimea from Ukraine, leaving just one legal obstacle for the Black Sea peninsula to cross before it is formally absorbed by Moscow.
Only one deputy in the State Duma voted against the treaty, and the Federation Council upper house is expected to complete ratification on Friday, signed by President Vladimir Putin and Crimean leaders on Tuesday.
The State Duma chamber stood for the national anthem after the vote, approved by 443 deputies in an almost full chamber.
"From now on, and forever, the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol will be in the Russian Federation," pro-Kremlin lawmaker Leonid Slutsky said in an address before the vote.
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