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Russia ratifies treaty on absorbing Crimea

21 March 2014, 13:02

Moscow - Russia's upper house of parliament on Friday unanimously voted to ratify the treaty incorporating Crimea into Russian territory in defiance of the international community's insistence that the peninsula is part of Ukraine.

All 155 senators present voted at a televised session to approve the treaty which was signed on Tuesday by President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin has said that it considers Crimea part of Russia since the signing of the treaty.

"We have been not witnesses but participants in the historical events that happened in recent days and with a feeling of dignity, responsibility and patriotism, we have fulfilled our historic mission too," said speaker Valentina Matviyenko after the vote.

The lower house of parliament, the State Duma, voted to ratify the treaty on Thursday with just one MP voting against. Both the Duma and the upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, are seen as largely rubber-stamping bodies.

The treaty creates two new Russian administrative regions: Crimea and the port city of Sevastopol where Russia's Black Sea fleet is based.

Several senators in the Federation Council, including Matviyenko, are included in Washington's list of targeted sanctions.

It was the Federation Council that voted on March 1 to approve a request from Putin to deploy Russian troops in Crimea.



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