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Crimea votes to join Russia, Obama orders sanctions

• Reuters

Crimea's parliament voted on Thursday to join Russia, and its Moscow-backed government set a referendum in 10 days, in a dramatic escalation of the crisis over the Ukrainian region that drew a sharp riposte from U.S. President Barack Obama.

Obama ordered sanctions on those responsible for Moscow's military intervention in Ukraine, including bans on travel to the United States and freezing of their U.S. assets....


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Putin was defiant on Ukraine, where he said pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich had been overthrown in an "anti-constitutional coup" last month. But he stressed what he called "the paramount important of Russian-American relations to ensure stability and security in the world", the Kremlin said.

"These relations should not be sacrificed for individual differences, albeit very important ones, over international problems," Putin said.

He maintained Moscow was not behind the seizure of Crimea, home of Russia's Black Sea Fleet. Russia says the troops without national insignia that have surround Ukrainian bases are "local self-defense units".

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/07/us-ukraine-crisis-idUSBREA1Q1E820140307


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