Crimea to Vote on Secession: Russia and Ukraine at Odds

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Russia’s military and political interference in Ukraine resulted in American sanctions this week, with President Barack Obama signing an executive order to more effectively isolate Russia in retaliation for their invasion of the Crimean region. Now, Russia’s Parliament has announced Friday that it would approve of a vote in Crimea to decide whether or not its citizens want to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation, according to the New York Times. Russia’s Upper House Chair, Valentina I. Matviyenko, compared the maneuver to that of Scotland’s referendum on independence from Britain, according to the Times — omitting the slight caveat that the British government had approved the potential split, unlike Ukraine in the present scenario.

Ukraine’s opposition government is anything but on board with such a move, with the interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk having told Crimea’s parliament that it will not consider such a referendum legitimate, according to BBC. He said Friday that Ukraine would be willing to speak with Russia on the condition that Russia remove its troops from Ukraine and remain in-line with international agreements. At present, Crimea has a new, emergency instated pro-Russia governance, which refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of Kiev’s interim government, just as Ukraine opposition leadership refuses to acknowledge Crimea’s Russia leadership. Yatsenyuk said to the “separatist and other traitors of the Ukrainian state,” on Friday that, “Any decision of yours is deliberately unlawful and unconstitutional and no one in the civilized world will recognize the decision of the so-called referendum of the so-called Crimean authorities.”

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