Crimea votes to join Russia, accelerating Ukraine crisis
Thursday Mar 06, 2014 | Full Story: Reuters

Crimea's parliament voted to join Russia on Thursday and its Moscow-backed government set a referendum within 10 days on the decision in a dramatic escalation of the crisis over the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula.

The sudden acceleration of moves to bring Crimea, which has an ethnic Russian majority and has effectively been seized by Russian forces, formally under Moscow's rule came as European Union leaders gathered for an emergency summit to find ways to pressure Russia to back down.

U.S. President Barack Obama took steps to punish those involved in threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, ordering the freezing of their U.S. assets and a ban on travel into the United States.

The U.S. Navy announced a guided-missile destroyer, the USS Truxton, was heading to the Black Sea in what it said was a long-planned training exercise and not a show of force.

The Crimean parliament voted unanimously "to enter into the Russian Federation with the rights of a subject of the Russian Federation".

The vice premier of Crimea, home to Russia's Black Sea military base in Sevastopol, said a referendum on the status would take place on March 16. He said all state property would be "nationalized", the Russian ruble could be adopted and Ukrainian troops would be treated as occupiers and be forced to surrender or leave.

The announcement, which diplomats said could not have been made without Russian President Vladimir Putin's approval, raised the stakes in the most serious east-west confrontation since the end of the Cold War.

let russian go back to there fun loving country :P

Its ok for me, the people in Crimea are mostly russian descendants so its up to them to decide!

I wonder how the Crimean people feel about this decision . . .

I see nothing wrong with the people of Crimea voting to return to Russia. They are, after all, mostly of Russian origin and are only in Ukraine because of a bizarre decision by Kruschev back in 1954. The principle of self-determination should apply - if it is upheld in other parts of the world, so it should be here.

Agreed, but it was parliament that made the decision - I wonder how the people feel about it as a whole.

There is every sign that the referendum will endorse the decision by a large majority. This is a genuinely popular move with most people living in the Crimea, who are ethnic Russians who welcomed the arrival of Putin's troops with open arms. That is what I mean by applying the principle of self-determination.

they are protecting their territory and do what is best for their country. I would think if mexico or canada was at war the usa would do the same to protect our territory. I don't know what they except for them to do. I don't understand the nature of the situation. I don't agree with violence but I do see why Putin is protecting Russia.

I visited Kiev just before the protests started. It's a beautiful country with great people. It sickens me to see this criminal grab by Putin, but he has an insatiable appetite for flexing his muscles. I think Crimea is gone for good. I hope Putin will stop there but Eastern Ukraine is under the gun also. Don't worry, our cowardly pres will not interfere. Hr will mumble meaningless threats and draw imaginary red lines and that will be it. I feel sad for the Ukranian people.

This is all we need another darn war. I sure hope we stay out of this one but knowing the US we will stick our nose into it. Just hoping too that its not the beginning of another world war.

This whole situation is so scary. I hope things get resolved and doesn't escalate into another war. That would be the last thing the world needs right now.....fingers crossed!

I'm so tired of hearing about this, something needs to be done and we need to keep out of it.

How do you propose something is done about it while at the same time we stay out of it?

Bob, That depends on who you mean by "we". This sounds like a job for the United Nations, not for any outside country to go sticking its nose in. We have plenty of recent examples of the mess made by the United States, with European backing, when they have attempted to sort out the politics of other nations.

I agree.Why should/does USA play policeman to the world?They do not do a great job

I see the USA now as the World Police, they should step away and let the people that is really involved in this problem (the crimeans) to decide.

When Kruschev handed Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 it did not much matter, because Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union. However, things are different now that Ukraine is independent from Russia. To return Ukraine to Russia would only be to restore the status quo of 60 years ago.

This is a very interesting subject. I just heard an interview on NPR, and assigned students to research and prepare to debate this issue.

Why can't we just stay out of it. Let them fight their own battles.

Since we are the strongest member of the UN, we would be involved if the UN is involved...

Not good.

That is just one big ol' mess over there right now. Ugh...