The Crimean parliament in Ukraine's mostly pro-Russian Crimea region voted Tuesday to declare early independence prior to the controversial referendum planned for March 16 to determine secession from Ukraine and annexation by Russia.
The Crimean parliament reported Tuesday that 78 of 100 deputies voted to declare early independence and asserted its right to determine its country affiliation was in accordance with international law.
In Kiev, the Verkhovna Rada -- Ukraine's national parliament -- voiced its opposition to the Crimean referendum on the grounds that it contradicts Ukraine's constitution, specifically constitutional articles 134 and 138 that prohibit the Crimean parliament from carrying out foreign policy relations. Lawmakers appealed to residents of Crimea to boycott the March 16 secession vote.
The Verkhovna Rada also conveyed Tuesday that it may address the European Commission for Democracy through Law concerning Crimea's planned unconstitutional referendum.
[RIA Novosti] [Interfax Ukraine News Agency]