Crimea’s parliament votes in favor of leaving Ukraine for Russia, referendum scheduled

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The parliament of the disputed Crimean Peninsula has voted in favor of leaving Ukraine to become part of Russia, with a referendum on endorsing the move to be held later this month.

The parliament, which enjoys a degree of autonomy under current Ukrainian law, voted 78-0 with eight abstentions in favor of holding the referendum and joining Russia. Local voters will also be given the choice of deciding to remain part of Ukraine, but with enhanced local powers.

Crimean Vice Premier Rustam Teemirgaliev said the referendum will be held March 16. RIA reported that the referendum would consist of two questions. The first would ask whether voters wished to join Russia “as a subject of the [Russian Federation].” The second question would ask whether voters wished to remain a part of Ukraine but as an autonomous republic, as laid out in the country’s post-Soviet 1992 constitution.



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