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Putin signs treaty to annex Crimea

Crimea moved closer to joining Russia Tuesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Crimean leaders signed a treaty to annex Crimea to Russia. The move follows Sunday's contentious Crimea referendum, deemed "illegal" by Ukraine and much of the West.

By JC Finley
Putin signs treaty to annex Crimea
Russian President Vladimir Putin, pictured in June 2012. (UPI/Abed Hashlamoni/Pool) | License Photo

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Crimean leaders signed a treaty to annex Crimea to Russia.

The Russian parliament is expected to vote on the ratification of the Crimea annexation treaty later Tuesday.

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A day earlier, Putin recognized Crimea as an independent state following Sunday's contentious referendum in which residents of Crimea voted to determine whether to remain part of Ukraine or to secede and join the Russian Federation.

Ukraine and much of the U.S. has condemned the Crimea referendum as illegitimate and "illegal" under Ukraine's constitution.

[RIA Novosti]

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