Ousted leader Viktor Yanukovich said on Tuesday that Crimea is breaking away from Ukraine and blamed opponents who forced him from power for developments on the Black Sea peninsula, which is holding a referendum on Sunday on joining Russia, Reuters reported.
In a statement to journalists, Yanukovich also said U.S. financial aid to Ukraine would be illegal, saying that U.S. law does not allow the government to aid "bandits".
As a result of protests in Ukraine, the country's President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted on Feb. 22. The Verkhovna Rada (parliament) has approved the new composition of the parliament and is preparing to hold pre-term elections.
On Feb. 26 several thousand people participating in two rallies gathered in front of Supreme Council of Crimea. After the escalation of the protest actions in Crimea, the Federation Council supported President Vladimir Putin's appeal regarding the use of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine pending "the normalization of the socio-political situation in that country".
Leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and the U.S., as well as chairman of the European Council and the chairman of the European Commission made a joint statement condemning Russia's position on Ukraine and canceled the preparations for the G8 summit in Sochi, scheduled for June 2014.