Moscow Wins Overwhelming Crimea Vote, The Cold War Begins
Crimea Names Ruble Currency; Applies To Join Russia, Expects To Become Region Of Russian Federation By Thursday
First, for those who have missed this weekend’s developing story surrounding events in Crimea, here is the 30 second summary, courtesy of Bloomberg:
- U.S., EU warn Russia not to annex Crimea after 95.5% of voters backed leaving Ukraine to join Russia in referendum.
- Ukrainian govt, EU, U.S. consider vote illegal
- Russia said vote “fully met international norms”
- Russia deployed about 60,000 troops along Ukrainian border, Ukrainian government said yday; Ukraine closed border crossings and will mobilize as many as 15,000 volunteers in next 15 days
- Obama spoke with Putin, said referendum would never be recognized by intl community; U.S. prepared to impose “additional costs” on Russia for its actions
- Putin told Obama Kiev regime unable to curb radical, ultra- nationalists groups that are destabilizing situation, terrorizing peaceful residents
- EU ministers meet today to discuss sanctions that target Russian individuals rather than businesses; EU leaders to meet March 20-21 in Brussels to discuss further measures
- “We are all reluctant to impose sanctions because Russia will probably respond and we’ll all suffer as a result,” Poland Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said on CNN. “But Russia is leaving us with no choice.”
- Russian lawmakers to consider bill on March 21 that would allow Russia to incorporate parts of countries where residents want to secede, says a Kremlin adviser
- Russia vetoed UN Security Council resolution declaring referendum illegal; China abstained from voting
- Crimeans celebrate vote
And here is the latest : just hours ago, Crimea’s parliament officially applied to become part of Russia. The parliament “made a proposal to the Russian Federation to admit the Republic of Crimea as a new subject with the status of a republic,” according to a statement on its website. A Crimean parliamentary delegation was expected to arrive in Moscow on Monday to discuss the procedures required for the Black Sea peninsula to become part of the Russian Federation.
“If everything’s signed we’ll become a fully fledged region of the Russian Federation Wednesday or Thursday,” First Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Termigaliyev says in interview at govt headquarters in Simferopol. Termigaliyev added that Crimea will promptly get $1b aid from Russia in near-term, and that Hryvnia reserves enough for 10 days, then Crimea will switch to ruble. April pensions “most likely” to be paid in rubles. Crimea can be self-sufficient in natural gas after today’s nationalization of Chernomoreneftegaz. Crimea risks 150,000 hectares being left without water if Ukraine shuts off supply, though that’s “not critical,” says Termigaliyev.