In an extraordinary turn of events, Crimea has decided to join Russia after its parliament voted in favour of it on Thursday, March 6. It took just 10 days for the Crimean government, which is heavily backed by Moscow, to set the referendum. U.S. President Barack Obama immediately reacted to the referendum and called it a violation of International law.
The decision by the national parliament of Crimea added an interesting twist to the on-going political unrest in the country which has a majority of ethnic Russian population. There has been uproar on the international level after Russia decided to go for military invasion of the Crimean peninsula. United States,, in particular, has been harshly critical of the move. Hillary Clinton even compared Russia with Nazi Germany.
Mr Obama said that it would be a violation of international law if the future of Crimea was decided by a referendum in 10 days. The U.S. government has also decided to impose financial sanctions and visa restrictions on Ukrainians and Russians as a reaction to Moscow's move to have military invasion of Crimea.
It was a unanimous vote at the Crimean parliament in favour of joining Russia. Reuters reported that it decided "to enter into the Russian Federation with the rights of a subject of the Russian Federation." The referendum on the issue has been scheduled to have effect on March 16. The vice premier of Crimea said that all state property was going to be "nationalised." He also indicated that the Russian rouble might be adopted as well. Thereafter, Ukrainian troops will be considered as occupiers and asked to leave the country or surrender.
The U.S. Navy has already announced that the USS Truxton, guided missile destroyer, would head to the Black Sea. It is, however, going to be a training exercise which has been planned for a long time. Contrary to popular assumptions, the federal government has claimed that the move is not designed to exhibit muscle power.