Crimea breaks away from Ukraine, asks to rejoin Russia
- Crimea declared independence from Ukraine &joined Russia with 97% voting to join Russia (seperated when Soviet Union broke) & 2.5% favoring staying with Ukraine.
- Crimean Tatar population were exiled by Stalin during World War II.
- Higher salaries and better pensions for Crimean residents are promised by Russian government.
- Russia intends to develop its Black Sea Fleet was hampered by Ukraine earlier. In order to achieve new strategic goals, Moscow will expand its naval existence in Crimea and reconstruct the Black Sea Fleet.
- Putin was warned by Obama that U.S. and the international community will consider the referendum as a violation of Ukrainian Constitution & consequence of Russian military intervention.
- Putin stated that the Crimea’s referendum fulfills norms of international law & U.N. Charter in par with Kosovo precedent.
- U.S. and European Union imposed sanctions:
- travel ban
- asset freeze on 11 officials (includes Ukraine’s ousted President Viktor Yanukovych & Speaker of Russian Parliament’s upper house Valentina Matvienko & Deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin) (21 names in EU ban).
- Ukraine crisis
- Crimean referendum
- USA & EU sanctions on Russia