case http://cbpa.com/wp-includes/class-wp-simplepie-file.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>The signed order is seen as defiance to the Ukrainian protests and Western sanctions, which were yesterday announced by European Union against 11 Ukrainians and Russians including Yanukovich, and Vladislav Surkov and Sergei Glazyev, two aides to Putin.
The order indicated the president would sign the treaty with Crimea’s Russian-installed leader, who is in Moscow to request incorporation into Russia, but it gave no date.
Putin’s move to annex Crimea follows a disputed referendum in Crimea on Sunday, staged under Russian military occupation, in which a Soviet-style 97% of voters were declared to have voted to return to Russian rule, after 60 years as part of Ukraine.
On Monday, the United States and the European Union imposed personal sanctions on a small group of officials from Russia and Ukraine accused of involvement in Moscow’s military seizure of the Black Sea peninsula, most of whose 2 million residents are ethnic Russians.
The sanctions have already affected several members who include; Leonid Slutsky, one of the Russian politicians who said in the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, that Crimea’s decision is historic.
“Today we see justice and truth reborn.”
Japan joined the sanctions on Tuesday, announcing the suspension of talks on investment promotion and visa liberalisation with Russia.
“The recognition of Crimean independence by Russia violates Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and is regrettable,” Japanese Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference.
Putin was to address a special joint session of the Russian parliament on the issue on Tuesday, aides said.
Russian forces took control of Crimea in late February following the toppling of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich after deadly clashes between riot police and protesters trying to overturn his decision to spurn a trade and cooperation deal with the EU and seek closer ties with Russia.
Credit: Times Live, Reuters