Putin moves ahead with procedure to bring Crimea into Russia
President Vladimir Putin pressed forward on Tuesday with the procedure for bringing Ukraine's Crimea region into Russia, informing his government and parliament of the Crimean leadership's proposal to join Russia, Reuters reported.
The steps, announced by the Kremlin, came a day after Putin recognized Crimea as an independent state following a referendum in which its voters supported joining Russia. Putin is to address parliament later on Tuesday.
The vast majority of residents of Crimea - 96 percent - voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, in a referendum held March 16.
With the exception of Russia most countries refused to recognize the referendum and its results.
A change of power took place in Ukraine on Feb.22.
The Verkhovna Rada (parliament) ousted President Viktor Yanukovych from the power, changed the constitution and scheduled presidential elections for May 25. Yanukovych said that he was forced to leave Ukraine under the threat of violence, and he remains the legally elected head of state. A number of provinces in eastern and southern Ukraine, as well as the Crimea did not recognize the legitimacy of the Rada and decided on possibility of holding a referendum on the future fate of the regions.