ABOVE: European leaders condemn Russia’s annexation of Crimean Peninsula
Crimea is now officially a sovereign and independent state in the eyes of Russia, while the autonomous territory has, on paper, cut off most ties with Ukraine in a resolution approved on Monday.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the order to recognize Crimea‘s independence and sovereignty late Monday evening, hours after the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea approved a resolution on the region’s independence.
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A text of the Crimean resolution was made available on the website of state-run English-language news agency Russia Today.
The document declares Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, which had a special administrative status in Ukraine, as independent. Sevastopol will, if Crimea’s accession to Russia goes through, have a special status within the region.
The resolution declared an end to any Ukrainian governance.
“From the day on which this resolution comes in force, no laws of Ukraine will be applicable or valid on the territory of the Republic of Crimea, and no orders or instructions of the Supreme Council of Ukraine or other bodies of authority of Ukraine issued later than February 21, 2014 will be acted upon,” the resolution decreed.
It also terminated Ukrainian control over any businesses or organizations set up “by Ukraine or with its participation on the territory of the Republic of Crimea.”
Those institutions will now belong to the Republic of Crimea, the resolution states. The same goes for all Ukrainian state-owned property in the territory, while the property of all Ukrainian trade unions and other non-governmental organizations will become assets of their Crimean counterparts.
The document concluded with a request for the Kremlin to accept Crimea as “a new constituent entity of the Russian Federation with a status of republic.”
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Putin’s order acknowledged the results of the referendum, which saw almost 97 per cent of voters who turned out vote in favour or joining Russia.
“According to the will of the peoples of the Crimea on the all-Crimean referendum held on March 16, 2014, [I order] to recognize the Republic of Crimea, in which the city of Sevastopol has a special status, as a sovereign and independent state,” Putin’s signed order reads, according to Russia Today.
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Putin is set to address the upper and lower houses of Parliament on Tuesday. Russia already appears to be benefitting from its prospective new territory.
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While these are still early steps towards Crimea reunifying with Russia, along with plans for the republic to switch time zones to be in line with Moscow and to adopt the Russian ruble as its currency, alongside the Ukrainian hryvnia until it’s withdrawn from circulation in 2016, Russia Today reported.
According to Bloomberg, the ruble ended a six-day “losing streak” on Monday and Russian equities saw gains after hitting a four-year low.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin reportedly boasted about the economic advantages of welcoming Crimea and Sevastopol to the Russian Federation, ITAR-TASS> reported Monday.
“I think Crimea and Sevastopol are extremely advantageous for the country from an economic point of view,” ITAR-TASS reported Sobyanin saying. “I am sure that the travel businesses will start booming in Crimea.
With files from The Associated Press