Russian Parliament Will Accept Crimean ReferendumWorld | March 7, 2014, Friday // 17:15| views
Photo by EPA/BGNES
Both Houses of the Russian Parliament will approve a move by Crimea to join the Russian Federation.
This is the first official sign that Moscow backs the actions of the new Crimean authorities, which announced on Thursday the peninsula was seceding from Ukraine and would hold a referendum on March 16 to confirm the decision.
Valentina Matviyenko, Speaker of the Federal Council (upper house of the Parliament) compared Crimea's upcoming poll to that of Scotland, which is scheduled for this summer and (unlike in Ukraine) has the consent of the authorities in London. She asserted the referendum was in full accordance with international law.
In the Duma, Parliament's lower house, its Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said the MPs would "respect the historic choice of the people of Crimea", as Deutsche Welle quoted him as saying.
Thursday's announcement by Crimea that it would hold a referendum on joining Russia prompted outrage from Ukraine and dismay from Europe and the US, but Russia had not expressed an official reaction.
A few days back, Russian President Vladimir Putin was quoted as saying that secession of Crimea was not on the agenda.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Ukraine's Prime Minister, has repeatedly described the poll as "illegitimate" and vowed that his country would not accept its results.
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