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Russia%27s+Vladimir+Putin+recognises+Crimea+as+nation
Tuesday, 18 March 2014 - 7:48
Russia's Vladimir Putin recognises Crimea as nation
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Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree recognising Crimea as a sovereign state, paving the way for it to be absorbed into Russia.

The decree said it had taken into account Sunday's referendum in Crimea, in which officials said 97% of voters backed breaking away from Ukraine.

The EU and US said the referendum was illegal and imposed sanctions on 21 officials from Russia and Ukraine.

Crimea was taken over by pro-Russian gunmen in late February.

The incursion came after President Viktor Yanukovych fled to Russia following months of street protests.
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