EU leaders have few options at Ukraine crisis meeting as Crimean parliament votes to secede

The Genoese fortress, in Sudak in Crimea

The Genoese fortress, in Sudak in Crimea, see additional pictures

Crimean parliament wants to secede from Ukraine, join Russia

From the BBC:

The Crimean parliament votes to hold a referendum on 16 March in which voters will be asked on whether the region should join the Russian Federation.

Kyiv has called the Crimean parliament’s move unconstitutional.

Senior Correspondent Dan Peleschuk noted that the parliament was meant to hold a referendum, originally set for the date May 25. It was then moved up to March 30.

UPDATE: 3/6/14 6:40 AM ET

Global Post: Russia trying to ‘rewrite the borders of Europe after World War II’

From Senior Correspondent Paul Ames:

European Union leaders arrived for their emergency summit on Ukraine struggling to find unity in their response to Russia’s takeover of Crimea.

Leaders going into the talks suggested the bloc would discuss sanctions against the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin, but hold off on applying them in the hope that a negotiated settlement can still be found — despite the latest escalation caused by plans for Crimea to hold referendum on joining Russia.

“We will also talk about different types and forms of sanctions, whether they will enter into force or not will be decided based on how far diplomatic efforts proceed,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters ahead of the summit.


Categories: Europe and Australia, Ukraine

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  1. From CNN

    Kiev, Ukraine (CNN) — Lawmakers in Ukraine’s southern Crimea region voted Thursday in favor of leaving Ukraine for Russia, which already has the Black Sea peninsula under de facto control.

    The Crimean parliament also voted to hold a referendum on the move in 10 days’ time.

    Residents of Crimea will face a simple choice: Stay in Ukraine or join Russia.

    It’s not clear how easily the region could split off if the referendum endorses the move.

    The autonomous region has a 60% ethnic Russian population, having been part of Russia until it was ceded to Ukraine in 1954 by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

    But not everyone may be as keen on coming under Moscow’s direct influence. A quarter of the peninsula’s population is Ukrainian and about 12% Crimean Tatars, a predominantly Muslim group oppressed under former Soviet leader Josef Stalin.

    The parliament in Crimea installed a new, pro-Moscow government late last month after pro-Russian armed men took control of the building. It had previously said a referendum would be held at the end of the month on greater autonomy for Crimea.

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