Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Kremlin: Crimea now part of Russia | Ukraine: Crimea still Ukrainian territory by CNNInternational | Biden Slams Russia Over Annexation

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 Thumbnail Crimeans remove Ukrainian insignia from the parliament AFP news agency 0:54
 Thumbnail Full video: Putin's address on Crimea joining Russia, signing ceremony euronews (in English) 1:01:20
 Thumbnail Putin signs treaty to incorporate Crimea into Russian federation euronews (in English)1:22
 Thumbnail Raw: Vice-President Biden in Poland AssociatedPress 0:36
 Thumbnail Secretary Kerry Delivers Remarks to the Press on the Situation in Ukraine U.S. Department of State 20:03
 Thumbnail Putin Gets Standing Ovation in Russian Parliament WSJDigitalNetwork 1:02
 Thumbnail За что их наказали? Девять самых заметных фигурантов черных списков США и Европы tvrainru 5:41
 Thumbnail Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH370: Latest investigation report - March 17 euronews (in English) 10:01
 Thumbnail Национальная гвардия Украины учится воевать BBC Russian 1:59
 Thumbnail 17.03.2014 Геофактор: Запад ввел санкции против российских чиновников DW (Russian) 10:04
 Thumbnail Speculation swirls around Malaysian airliner mystery as victims' families demand answerseuronews (in English) 1:13
 Thumbnail Сколько Россия заплатит за Крым? Ложь путинского режима 4:27
 Thumbnail Venezuelan troops hold plaza Reuters 1:02
 Thumbnail Earthquake Rattles Southern California Residents AssociatedPress 0:59
 Thumbnail Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 21 - Andante poloshia 5:52
 Thumbnail Crimea Declares its Independence VOAvideo 2:06
 Thumbnail Putin signs decree recognizing Crimea as sovereign state RT 1:57
 Thumbnail Barack Obama desconoce referendo de Crimea y dice que infringe la ley teleSUR tv0:38
 Thumbnail President Obama Speaks on Ukraine The White House 4:30
 Thumbnail Crimea vote could "create new conflicts in Europe" - German FM Reuters 1:52
 Thumbnail US Announces New Sanctions After Crimea Vote AssociatedPress 1:32
 Thumbnail Sanctions for Russia, Obama says Reuters 1:13
 Thumbnail Times Minute 3/17/14 | New Sanctions for Russia | The New York Times The New York Times 0:58
 Thumbnail LCACs to the Beach U.S. Navy 1:47
 Thumbnail Obama imposes sanctions against Russia CNN 1:53
 Thumbnail Obama: Diplomacy possible in Ukraine CNN 1:08
 Thumbnail Missing plane: Investigators consider suicide in the cockpit of flight MH370 euronews (in English) 1:26
 Thumbnail Guinness Ends NYC St. Pat's Parade Sponsorship AssociatedPress 0:55
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 Thumbnail Libya rebel tanker seized Reuters 0:48
 Thumbnail US Lags While Drones Take Off Around the Globe AssociatedPress 2:08
 Thumbnail Pro-Russian separatists: Crimea is just the beginning The Guardian 8:03
 Thumbnail Crimea vive el referéndum separatista como un día de fiesta AGENCIA EFE 0:48
 Thumbnail Crimean Tartars boycott referendum vote CNN 2:10
 Thumbnail Video: Masked soldiers in Crimea queue up for sausages at grocery store euronews (in English) 0:54
 Thumbnail How the Crimean Vote Could Affect Energy Markets WSJDigitalNetwork 4:53
 Thumbnail Kiev vows 'earth to burn' under separatists' feet, seeks for defense budget boost RT2:24
 Thumbnail Russia TV host: Russia could turn USA into radioactive ashes ITN 1:45
 Thumbnail Crimea Wakes Up to Referendum Hangover WSJDigitalNetwork 1:15
 Thumbnail AP Top Stories for March 17 A AssociatedPress 0:58
 Thumbnail Итоги референдума в Крыму. Кризис на Украине BBC Russian 57:01
 Thumbnail Measles outbreak sparks fear of resurgent diseases PBS NewsHour 4:46
 Thumbnail Full Episode | March 16, 2014 PBS NewsHour 22:12
 Thumbnail Times Minute 3/14/14 | High Tension in Crimea | The New York Times The New York Times 1:10
 Thumbnail Mexico City bullring transformed into stunt playground for Red Bull's 2014 X-Fighters Series ITN 1:29
 Thumbnail U.S. Navy raid and seize hijacked oil tanker CNN 1:15
 Thumbnail Syrian forces retake Yabroud Reuters 0:44
 Thumbnail It's a girl! Baby gorilla born via c-section at San Diego Zoo euronews (in English) 1:35
 Thumbnail Finding Flight 370 CNN 2:45
 Thumbnail Did plane drop 5,000 ft. to avoid radar? CNN 4:41
 Thumbnail Inside Politics: Few Options for U.S. on Ukraine CNN 3:31
 Thumbnail Crimea celebra la reunificación con Rusia después del referéndum AGENCIA EFE 0:52
 Thumbnail North Korea: Kim Jong-un launches missile into sea and watches shooting contest ITN1:06
 Thumbnail 'I Expect An Excellent Life' - Crimeans Discuss Accession To Russia Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty 1:49
 Thumbnail RFERL Video Roundup - March 14, 2014 Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty 3:12
 Thumbnail Кто помогал Крыму сделать выбор SvobodaRadio 55:07
 Thumbnail Сенат - ЦРУ. Полемика продолжается Голос Америки 3:07
 Thumbnail Пресс-конференция Виталия Кличко (прямой эфир в записи) euronews (на русском)16:46
 Thumbnail Путин во вторник обратится к Федеральному собранию по ситуации вокруг Крымаtvrainru 5:39
 Thumbnail Эштон: я призываю Россию вступить в прямой диалог с Украиной euronews (на русском) 1:16
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В Крыму неизвестные похитили командира воинской части Службы внешней разведки : Новости УНИАН

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Солдат российской армии / REUTERS
Солдат российской армии / REUTERS
Как сообщили УНИАН в пресс-службе Службы внешней разведки Украины, по свидетельствам очевидцев, похищение было совершено около 17.00 у подъезда дома, где проживает Лосников. Он возвращался со службы домой, где его ждали жена и двое детей. На полковника напали на улице, когда он выходил из собственного автомобиля, затолкали в Мерседес-VITO черного цвета с номерным знаком 7776 и вывезли в неизвестном направлении.Читайте такжеПо украинским военным в Крыму стрелял русский спецназ
Полковник Лосников является командиром воинской части СВР Украины, которая дислоцируется вблизи Алушты и которая несколько дней назад была захвачена вооруженными лицами.
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Crimeans remove Ukrainian insignia from the parliament - YouTube

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Published on Mar 18, 2014
Crimeans removed Ukraine's official insignia in the peninsula on Tuesday, after Vladimir Putin signed a historic treaty making Crimea part of Russia with immediate effect.

Full video: Putin's address on Crimea joining Russia, signing ceremony

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President Vladimir Putin has, in the last hour, signed a treaty to incorporate Crimea into Russia.
Putin signed the law after a speech to Russia's parliament, in which he hit back at his critics.
It comes after Sunday's referendum in Crimea, which saw overwhelming support for a union with Russia.
He condemned Ukraine's "so-called" authorities, saying they had stolen power in a coup and had opened the way for "extremists" who would stop at nothing to determine the future of the country.
Addressing a joint session of Russia's parliament, Putin said: "Those who were behind recent events, they were ... preparing a coup d'etat, another one. They were planning to seize power, stopping at nothing. Terror, murder, pogroms were used."
He called them "nationalists, neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites" adding: "It is primarily they who are deciding how Ukraine lives today. The so-called Ukrainian authorities introduced a scandalous law on the revision of the language policy, which directly violated the rights of the national minorities."
He said Moscow sees Western attempts to frighten Russia with sanctions as aggression and will retaliate.
Earlier Putin signed a decree which recognises Crimea as a sovereign and independent state. The Kremlin said the order would take immediate effect.
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Putin also declares Hawaii a part of Russia

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Putin signs agreement crimeaEnlarge
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C), Crimean parliament speaker Vladimir Konstantionov (L) and Alexei Chaly, Sevastopol's new de facto mayor (R), sign a treaty on the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula becoming part of Russia in the Kremlin in Moscow on March 18, 2014. (KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
This is satire, mostly. For more GlobalPost satire, click here.
HONOLULU — Acting in defiance of international condemnation, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared his intention to annex Hawaii as well as Crimea on Tuesday, in a move that flies in the face of imposed sanctions and enraged and confused world leaders.
“Hawaii has always been an integral part of Russia in the hearts and minds of its people,” said Putin at the Grand Kremlin Palace to an audience of political elites. “You see, it is cold here. The idea of playing little ukulele under palm tree? Yes. That is an idea that reaches far back into Russian history.”
The move left world leaders scrambling for a response. “Uhh…” said Angela Merkel, in blank shock, to a bevvy of reporters. “Ooookaaaayeeeee,” said David Cameron, in front of his home. “What kind of whacked-out Stratego bullshit is this?” said US Vice President Joe Biden, when torn away from his slinky, while US President Barack Obama slowly crushed a soda can in his hand and stared grimly into the distance.
“Okay, first, I get Hawaiian shirt. Then I get rain stick. Then I walk around in this way like perfectly cool fellow. Then I sing waikiki-aikiki with coconut woman. This is what they do in Hawaii, yes?” said Putin in further remarks. “And that slinky? I annex that too.”
<a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/140318/putin-also-declares-hawaii-part-russia-satire" rel="nofollow">http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/140318/putin-also-declares-hawaii-part-russia-satire</a>
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Putin also declares Hawaii a part of Russia

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Page 2

Gurdjieff - De Hartmann Piano Music

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La musica di Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff - Thomas De Hartmann. Pianisti Michele Fedrigotti, Danilo Lorenzini, Michèle Thomasson. I brani sono stati registrati durante il concerto del 29 gennaio 2001 presso il Teatro della Cometa a Roma.
Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff - Thomas De Hartmann Piano Music. Michele Fedrigotti, Danilo Lorenzini and Michèle Thomasson pianists. The songs were recorded during the concert on January 29, 2001 - Teatro della Cometa in Rome.

Defying West, Putin Formally Claims Crimea for Russia

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In his address to the Federal Council, President Vladimir V. Putin asks it to ratify the annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol to Russia.
MOSCOW — A defiant President Vladimir V. Putin claimed Crimea as a part of Russia on Tuesday, reversing what he described as a historic mistake made by the Soviet Union 60 years ago and brushing aside international condemnation that could leave Russia isolated for years to come.
Within minutes of delivering a passionate speech to Russia’s political elite, Mr. Putin cemented his pledge by signing a draft treaty with Crimean leaders to make the strategic Black Sea peninsula part of Russia. The events unfolded two days after Crimeans voted in a disputed referendum to break away from Ukraine. While the treaty signed Tuesday still needs parliamentary approval, that is regarded as a formality.
“Crimea has always been an integral part of Russia in the hearts and minds of people,” Mr. Putin declared in his address, delivered in the chandeliered St. George’s Hall in the Grand Kremlin Palace before hundreds of members of Parliament, governors and others. His remarks, which lasted 47 minutes, were interrupted repeatedly by thunderous applause, standing ovations and at the end chants of “Russia, Russia.” Some in the audience wiped tears from their eyes.
Reaching deep into Russian and Soviet history, Mr. Putin said he did not seek to divide Ukraine any further, but vowed that he would protect Russia’s national security from what he described as Western, and particularly American, actions that had left Russia feeling cornered.
He spoke as he has often in the past of the humiliations Russia has suffered in a world with one dominant superpower — from the NATO air war in Kosovo in 1999 against Moscow’s Serbian allies to the one in Libya that toppled Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in 2011 on what he called the false pretense of a humanitarian intervention.
Mr. Putin dipped into deep wells of emotion, starting with the 10th century baptism of Prince Vladimir, whose conversion to Orthodox Christianity transformed the kingdom then known as Rus, to the collapse of the Soviet Union, which left many Russians of his generation feeling that they had been stripped of their nation overnight.
“Millions of Russians went to bed in one country and woke up abroad,” he said. “Overnight, they were minorities in the former Soviet republics, and the Russian people became one of the biggest — if not the biggest — divided nation in the world.”
Assailing the West for what he has said were its broken promises, he said: “They cheated us again and again, made decisions behind our back, presenting us with completed facts. That’s the way it was with the expansion of NATO in the east, with the deployment of military infrastructure at our borders. They always told us the same thing: ‘Well, this doesn’t involve you.’ ”
In a deepening clash of wills, Western reaction was swift. The White House condemned the move, which it said it would not recognize. Britain’s foreign secretary, William Hague, told Parliament on Tuesday that the crisis in Ukraine “is the most serious test of European security in the 21 century so far.”
“No amount of sham and perverse democratic process or skewed historical references can make up for the fact that this is an incursion into a sovereign state and a land grab of part of its territory with no respect for the law of that country or for international law,” he said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel firmly rejected Moscow’s absorption of Crimea, a position she said was widely supported by international organizations including the United Nations and the European Council.
In his speech in Moscow, President Vladimir V. Putin defended Russia’s actions in Crimea by pointing out past Western ‘interventions,’ including Libya and Afghanistan, at length.
“The so-called referendum breached international law, the declaration of independence which the Russian president accepted yesterday was against international law, and the absorption into the Russian Federation is, in our firm opinion, also against international law,” Ms. Merkel told reporters in Berlin.
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., in Warsaw on Tuesday in a show of support for countries unnerved by the Russian incursion into Ukraine, rebutted Mr. Putin’s assertions. “Russia has offered a variety of arguments to justify what is nothing more than a land grab,” he said. “But the world has rejected those arguments.”
While Western sanctions in response to Sunday’s referendum on independence in Crimea had been relatively mild, American officials had already made clear they would ratchet up the pressure if Mr. Putin went ahead with annexation. The Obama administration is expected to react quickly with a new round of sanctions targeting three groups: Russian government officials, the Russian arms industry and Russians who work on behalf of government officials, the latter called “Russian government cronies” by a senior American official.
Mr. Putin brushed aside concerns about economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation, saying the West had forced Russia’s hand. By supporting the political uprising that toppled Ukraine’s president, Viktor F. Yanukovych, the United States and Europe crossed “a red line,” Mr. Putin said, forcing him to act to protect Crimea’s population from what he called “Russophobes and neo-Nazis” that had seized control in an illegal coup abetted by foreigners.
“If you press a spring too hard,” he said, “it will recoil.”
If there had been any doubt before Tuesday, Mr. Putin made clear that within what he considers his sphere of interest he would not be cowed by international pressure. And the speed of his moves in Crimea, redrawing an international border that has been recognized as part of an independent Ukraine since 1991, has been breathtaking.
Just three weeks after Russian special operations troops seized control of strategic locations on the peninsula, the authorities there organized and held a disputed referendum that paved the way for Tuesday’s treaty signing. Mr. Putin called the outcome of the vote — almost 97 percent in favor of secession —- “more than convincing.”
Mr. Putin acted despite the first of a series of threatened sanctions imposed by the United States, Canada and Europe on Monday. He did so using the same arguments that those countries used to justify the independence of Kosovo — which the West generally supported — including a passage from an Obama administration document establishing the legal rationale for recognizing that country.
Part of the speech also had an ominous tone, suggesting that Russian dissenters would be considered traitors siding with Russia’s adversaries. Mr. Putin has long suspected the United States of trying to stir up a democratic uprising in Russia along the lines of Ukraine’s Orange Revolution and the Arab Spring rebellions.
“Some Western politicians already threaten us not only with sanctions but also with the potential for domestic problems,” he said. “I would like to know what they are implying — the actions of a certain fifth column, of various national traitors? Or should we expect that they will worsen the social and economic situation, and therefore provoke people’s discontent?
Mr. Putin also spoke of the radically changed circumstances since 1954, when Russia awarded Crimea to Ukraine. At that time, he said, “nobody could imagine that Russia and Ukraine could one day become different states.” After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia felt it was “robbed” of Crimea, he said.
He was at pains to rebut the central Western argument that events in Crimea had been directed by a conventional military intervention. Mr. Putin said Russia never exceeded its permitted troop strength of 25,000 soldiers in Crimea as part of the longstanding agreement on the stationing of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol.
There had been no combat, he said, and he thanked Ukrainian soldiers who avoided bloodshed. “I cannot remember a single act of intervention without one single shot” being fired, he said.
However, within hours of that declaration, a group of soldiers opened fire while storming a modest Ukrainian military installation in Kubanskoye, near Simferopol. At least one Ukrainian soldier was injured and taken to a hospital, according to a Ukrainian officer inside the base and a spokesman for Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense, Vladislav Seleznev. The base appeared to be under control of the soldiers, who wore no insignia.
Buoyed by the crisis, Mr. Putin has vaulted past every line the United States and Europe have tried to draw in recent weeks. The White House indicated that it had not gone after some members of Mr. Putin’s inner circle to leave room for its next move, which the Americans and Europeans might now have to consider making sooner than they expected.
President Obama’s initial sanctions froze assets and banned travel for 11 Russian and Ukrainian figures, including Vladislav Y. Surkov, a longtime adviser to Mr. Putin; Dmitri O. Rogozin, a deputy prime minister of Russia; and Valentina I. Matviyenko, a Putin ally and the chairwoman of the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s Parliament. The European Union followed with sanctions against 21 Russian and Ukrainian figures.
“We’re making it clear that there are consequences for their actions,” Mr. Obama said as he announced the sanctions. “We’ll continue to make clear to Russia that further provocations will achieve nothing except to further isolate Russia and diminish its place in the world.”
Over all, the Europeans targeted 10 Russian politicians, seven pro-Russian Crimeans, three Russian military officers in Crimea and the former leader of Ukraine’s Black Sea Fleet, who defected to Russia this month. But the Europeans declined to go after elite figures like Mr. Surkov and Mr. Rogozin out of reluctance to poke Mr. Putin too directly.
Asked whether the European Union had failed to match tough words with strong actions, Radoslaw Sikorski, the Polish foreign minister, told journalists: “The U.S. is from Mars and Europe is from Venus. Get used to it.”
He noted that “Europe is closer and will therefore pay a bigger cost for sanctions against Russia.” He also pointed to Europe’s collective decision-making process.
“In the United States, one man takes a decision on the basis of an executive order,” Mr. Sikorski said, “whereas in Europe, for these measures to be legal, we need a consensus of 28 member states.”
The bravado in Moscow struck some American officials as bluster masking real concern about the potential financial bite of future sanctions, and there is some evidence that Russians are anxiously pulling tens of billions of dollars out of American accounts. Nearly $105 billion was shifted out of Treasury custodial accounts by foreign central banks or other institutions in the week that ended last Wednesday, more than three times that of any other recent week.
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Why Europe can't hit Russia with its biggest club: energy sanctions

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Europe has sanctioned Russian individuals in response to the Crimea crisis, but it confronts an inescapable fact when it comes to targeting Russia's natural gas and oil exports.

Newshour: Russia annexes Crimea 

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Putin signs treaty annexing Crimea; Sri Lanka defends detention of human rights activists; Errol Morris on his Rumsfeld film.

Download audio: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/worldservice/newshour/newshour_20140318-1504a.mp3

Putin signs Crimea treaty, will not seize other Ukraine regions

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Defying Ukrainian protests and Western sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty on Tuesday making Crimea part of Russia again but said he did not plan to seize any other regions of Ukraine.
In a fiercely patriotic address to a joint session of parliament in the Kremlin, punctuated by standing ovations, cheers and tears, Putin said Crimea's disputed referendum vote on Sunday, held under Russian military occupation, had shown the overwhelming will of the people to be reunited with Russia.
As the Russian national anthem played, Putin and Crimean leaders signed a treaty to make Crimea part of the Russian Federation, declaring: "In the hearts and minds of people, Crimea has always been and remains an inseparable part of Russia." Parliament is expected to begin ratifying the treaty within days.
Putin later told a flag-waving rally in Red Square beneath the walls of the Kremlin, near where Soviet politburo leaders once took the salute at communist May Day parades, that Crimea has returned to "home port".
Russian forces took control of the Black Sea peninsula in late February following the toppling of Moscow-backed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich by a protest movement sparked by his decision to spurn a far-reaching trade deal with the European Union last November and seek closer ties with Russia.
Putin's speech drew immediate hostile reaction in Kiev and the West.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said the conflict in Crimea had moved from a political to a military stage and he had asked his defense minister to call an urgent meeting with his Russian, U.S. and British counterparts.
"Today Russian soldiers began shooting at Ukrainian servicemen. This is a war crime," he said.
He was referring to an incident at a compound near the Crimean capital Simferopol in which a military spokesman said a Ukrainian officer was shot dead and another injured when "unknown forces, fully equipped and their faces covered" attacked the base.
Witnesses said there was no immediate evidence that Russian soldiers were involved in the shooting. A Russian Defence Ministry spokesman declined immediate comment.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called Moscow's action a "land grab" and stressed on a visit to Poland Washington's commitment to defending the security of NATO allies on Russian borders.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Russia's move was unacceptable to the international community, while Britain suspended military cooperation with Russia.
"It is completely unacceptable for Russia to use force to change borders, on the basis of a sham referendum held at the barrel of a Russian gun," British Prime Minister David Cameron said, threatening Putin with "more serious consequences".
In his speech, the Russian leader lambasted Western nations for what he called hypocrisy, saying they had endorsed Kosovo's right to self-determination and independence from Serbia but now denied Crimeans the same rights, he said.
"You cannot call the same thing black today and white tomorrow," Putin declared to stormy applause, saying that while he did not seek conflict with the West, Western partners had "crossed the line" over Ukraine and behaved "irresponsibly".
He said Ukraine's new leaders, in power since the overthrow of pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovich last month, included
"neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites".
Putin thanked China for what he called its support, even though Beijing abstained on a U.N. resolution on Crimea that Moscow had to veto on its own. He said he was sure Germans would understand the Russian people's quest for reunification, just as Russia had supported German reunification in 1990.
And he sought to reassure Ukrainians that Moscow did not seek any further division of their country. Fears have been expressed in Kiev that Russia might move on the Russian-speaking eastern parts of Ukraine, where there has been tension between some Russian-speakers and the new authorities.
"Don't believe those who try to frighten you with Russia and who scream that other regions will follow after Crimea," Putin said. "We do not want a partition of Ukraine."
Putin said Russian forces in Crimea had taken great care to avoid any bloodshed, contrasting it with NATO's 1999 campaign to drive Serbian forces out of Kosovo. Reinforcements had remained within the treaty limit of 25,000 troops in the area, he said.
Setting out Moscow's view of the events that led to the overthrow of Yanukovich last month, Putin said the "so-called authorities" in Kiev had stolen power in a coup, opening the way for extremists who would stop at nothing.
Making clear Russia's concern at the possibility of the U.S.-led NATO military alliance expanding into Ukraine, he declared: "I do not want to be welcomed in Sevastopol (Crimean home of Russia's Black Sea fleet) by NATO sailors."
Moscow's seizure of Crimea has caused the most serious East-West crisis since the end of the Cold War and Putin showed no sign of backing down despite the threat of tougher sanctions.
In Crimea, where his speech and the signing ceremony were broadcast live, his words caused rapture for some.
"Putin's done what our hearts were longing for," said Natalia, a pensioner who sells snacks in a kiosk in the center of Simferopol. "This finally brings things back to what they should be after all those years. For me, for my family, there can be no bigger joy, for us this is sacred."
Feride Kurtbedinova, a high school student and a member of Crimea's Muslim ethnic Tatar minority, said: "After Putin met with the Tatar leaders, that made it for me. He showed respect, gave us security guarantees, for Tatars that is important."
Ukraine's Yatseniuk earlier sought to reassure Moscow on two of its key concerns, saying in a televised address delivered in Russian that Kiev was not seeking to join NATO and would disarm Ukrainian nationalist militias.
On Monday, the United States and the EU imposed sanctions on a handful of officials from Russia and Ukraine accused of involvement in Moscow's seizure of the Black Sea peninsula, most of whose 2 million residents are ethnic Russians.
Russian politicians scoffed at the sanctions. The State Duma, or lower house, adopted a statement urging Washington and Brussels to extend the visa ban and asset freeze to all its members. The Foreign Ministry in Moscow said it would retaliate.
The White House said leaders of the world's seven leading industrial democracies will hold a Group of Seven summit without Russia on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit in The Hague next week to consider further responses to the crisis.
Despite strongly worded condemnations, Western nations have been cautious in their first practical steps against Moscow, both to leave the door open for a diplomatic solution and out of reluctance to endanger the world economic recovery.
Russian stocks gained another 2 percent after rallying strongly on Monday and the ruble rose after Putin said Russia would not seek to further divide Ukraine. Investors noted the initial sanctions did not target businesses or executives.
But Russia said its long-delayed privatization program could be postponed again, adding to a deepening economic crisis over Ukraine.
Washington and Brussels have said future punitive measures could affect the economy, energy and arms contracts as well as the private wealth of magnates close to Putin.
The EU also said its leaders would sign the political part of an association agreement with Ukraine on Friday, in a gesture of support for the fragile coalition in Kiev.
In a symbolic gesture, Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov announced that Crimea would switch to Moscow time from March 30. In the Crimean capital Simferopol, Banks scrambled to introduce the ruble as an official currency alongside the Ukrainian hryvnia.
(Additional reporting by Mike Collett-White, Gabriela Baczynska and Aleksandar Vasovic in Simferopol, Alexei Anishchuk, Vladimir Soldatkin and Jason Bush in Moscow; Writing by Paul Taylor; Editing by Giles Elgood and Anna Willard)
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Russia's Putin Signs Treaty to Annex Crimea

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Updated March 18, 2014 11:43 a.m. ET
Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed both Parliaments in a speech in which he talked about the "historical importance" of Russia's relationship with Crimea and said there will be three equal state languages in the region. Photo: Getty Images
MOSCOW—Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday moved to annex the breakaway Ukrainian region of Crimea but sought to reassure Ukrainians by saying Moscow has no further designs on its southern neighbor's territories.
Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the Federal Assembly on the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region at the Kremlin in Moscow on Tuesday. AP
In an otherwise defiant speech to both houses of parliament and top officials, Mr. Putin dismissedsanctions and threats of other consequences from Europe and the U.S., saying the West had "crossed the line" by fomenting what he called a putsch in Kiev earlier this year.
Mr. Putin signed treaties formally annexing Crimea and the port city of Sevastopol, which has long had a separate administrative status. Even if he stops there, Mr. Putin's annexation of the Black Sea peninsula would be the first such move in Europe since the end of World War II, upending long-held assumptions about security on the continent and potentially condemning Russia to a period of prolonged isolation.
Western leaders immediately denounced the move and threatened new sanctions. U.S. PresidentBarack Obama called for a meeting next week of the leaders of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations in Europe to discuss the crisis, pointedly excluding Russia from what had been known as the G-8.
Legislators were expected to complete the ratification process this week and the regions would become Russian territory within days. The process has moved swiftly since voters in Crimea on Sunday overwhelmingly passed a referendum to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.
Reaching back centuries into czarist history and relying heavily on widely felt nostalgia for the superpower status of the Soviet Union, Mr. Putin said Russia will stand up for the millions of ethnic Russians and Russian-speakers in what he called "historic Russian lands" now outside its borders.
"In the hearts and consciousness of people, Crimea always was and will be an inalienable part of Russia," he said, arguing that the 1954 Soviet decision to assign the region to Ukraine was a "blatant historical injustice" conducted in violation of laws then in effect.
"Crimea is our common property and a very important factor in the stability of the region," he said. "This strategic territory should be under a strong, sovereign state and that in fact can only be Russia." Leaving Crimea in Ukrainian hands, he warned, could lead Sevastopol, home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet, to become a harbor for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Mr. Putin was interrupted repeatedly by applause and some wiped tears from their eyes. Dignitaries chanted "Glory to Putin" during the ovations.
He signaled that Moscow isn't planning to send its troops—which occupied Crimea over the last two weeks—further into Ukraine. But he reiterated his harsh denunciations of the Western-backed government in Kiev as illegitimate and dominated by nationalists.
Russian President Vladimir Putin received a standing ovation while giving a speech to both houses of Parliament, in which he defended his decision sign a treaty to annex the breakaway Ukrainian region of Crimea. Photo: Getty Images
Appealing to the people of Ukraine, Mr. Putin said, "don't believe those who are using Russia to scare you, who say that other regions will follow Crimea. We don't want a partition of Ukraine. We don't need this."
"Millions of Russian people, Russian-speakers, now live and will continue to live in Ukraine, and Russia will always defend their interests through political, diplomatic and legal means," he said.
Ukraine's foreign ministry didn't appear persuaded by Putin's signal that Moscow wasn't planning to send troops, and said it wouldn't recognize the annexation.
"The signing of the so-called agreement on the inclusion of Crimea in Russia and the president's speech has nothing to do either with the law, or with democracy or common sense," a spokesman said. "Putin's speech demonstrated how dangerous Russia is for the civilized world and global security."
Elsewhere in the speech, Mr. Putin seemed to cast doubt on Ukraine's historical claims to the eastern and southern regions where ethnic Russians make up a large share of the population. Mr. Putin said those territories—which he called "the historical south of Russia"—were given to Ukraine by Bolshevik leaders in the early 1900s without the approval of residents.
People listen to a speech given by Russian President Vladimir Putin broadcast on a giant screen in Sevastopol on Tuesday. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Western capitals have called the annexation a violation of international law. On a visit to Warsaw, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said the world sees through Mr. Putin's "flawed logic" and that the U.S. was ready to impose further sanctions on Russia.
The U.S. joins "Poland and the international community in condemning the continuing assault on Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and the blatant violation of international law by Mr. Putin," he said.
Mr. Putin scoffed at such criticisms in his speech, accusing the U.S. and its allies of ignoring international law when it suited their interests and "cynically" relying on "the law of the strong."
"We've been deceived time after time" by Western assurances that Russia's interests would be taken into account, he said. "We have every reason to believe that the well-known policy of containing Russia from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries is being continued today."
After years of weakness in the 1990s where Russia couldn't defend its interests, Mr. Putin said Russia now is able to stand up for itself. "If you compress a spring to the limit, it will ultimately rebound strongly," he said.
He dismissed threats of western sanctions. "We of course will confront external pressure, but we have to decide for ourselves whether we are ready to consistently defense our national interests or endlessly betray them, retreating who knows where," he said.
Russia's currency and stock markets have dropped since the crisis began and capital flight has accelerated, leading many economists to warn that the economy faces stagnation this year.
But investors welcomed the tone of Mr. Putin's speech, interpreting it as more conciliatory than expected.
European shares, which had fallen as investors awaited the speech, rallied sharply. The Stoxx Europe 600 index was up 0.8% midafternoon. Russia's RTS index climbed 2.5%, while the Russian ruble bounced back from steep losses earlier in the day.
Officials blacklisted by the U.S. and EU on Monday laughed off the initial wave of sanctions, with many saying they have no overseas assets that could be targeted. Many said they viewed being named as an honor.
All of the 353 deputies of the lower house of parliament, the state DumaHECC -0.50% Hydrocarb Energy Corp. U.S.: OTCBB $1.99 -0.01 -0.50% March 18, 2014 12:41 pm Volume (Delayed 15m) :548 P/E Ratio N/A Market Cap $125.48 Million Dividend Yield N/A Rev. per Employee $529,4042.0001.9951.9901.98510a11a12p1p2p3p More quote details and news » HECC in  Your Value Your Change Short position present Tuesday voted to join in on the sanctions, state news channel Rossiya 24 reported.
In his speech, Mr. Putin cited strong public support for the annexation, noting that polls show over 90% of Russians back the move. The Kremlin organized a celebratory rally on Red Square on Tuesday afternoon, where Putin also spoke.
A poll released this week found that about as many Russians—48%—said they wanted to live in a "great power that other countries respect and fear" as said they wanted to live in a country with a high standard of living that wasn't one of the most powerful in the world.
Fueling fears the hardening of foreign policy is bringing a crackdown on opponents at home, Mr. Putin also warned that any efforts by outsiders to undermine Russia's resolve through what he called "a fifth column or various national traitors" would provoke a firm response.
In recent weeks, the Kremlin has tightened pressure on independent media and political opponents.
—Tommy Stubbington contributed to this article.
Write to Gregory L. White at greg.white@wsj.com
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GlobalNews: 18 Mar 14 PM Putin signs Russia - Crimea treaty

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UN reports mass executions by jihadist rebels / Qatar defends 2022 World Cup bid after payment claims / The Rolling Stones axe concert over Scott death.

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Putin Paves Way For Crimea Annexation 

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Speaking to a crowd in Moscow Tuesday afternoon, Russian President Vladimir Putin defended Moscow’s plan to annex the autonomous region of Ukraine.
“Crimea has always been an integral part of Russia in the hearts and minds of people,” Putin said.
On Sunday, Crimeans voted overwhelmingly in a referendum—which witnesses say included extensive voting irregularities—to break the autonomous republic away from Ukraine and be absorbed into Russia. The president informed his parliament Tuesday that Crimea had requested to join the country, the first step towards formal annexation of the region. He also approved a draft bill on its accession.
Putin couched the decision to annex Crimea as a necessary step to correct historical wrongs and protect the human rights of Russians in Crimea. “We’ve seen attempts to ban the Russian language to assimilate the Russian population and of course Russians just like other minorities suffered from constant political crisis that Ukraine’s been going through for 20 years,” he said.

Putin defends Crimean vote, blasts West 

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(MOSCOW) — President Vladimir Putin has defended Russia’s move to annex Crimea, saying that the rights of ethnic Russians have been abused by the Ukrainian government.
In a televised address to the nation, he said Tuesday that Crimea’s vote Sunday to join Russia is in line with international law, reflecting its right for self-determination.
He pointed at the example of Kosovo’s independence bid, supported by the West, and said that Crimea’s secession from Ukraine repeats Ukraine’s own secession from the Soviet Union in 1991.
He denied Western accusations that Russia invaded Crimea prior to the referendum, saying Russian troops were sent there in line with a treaty with Ukraine that allows Russia to have up to 25,000 troops at its Black Sea Fleet base in Crimea.

Biden Arrives in Europe to Reassure Allies

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In meetings with the leaders of Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. is expected to shore up the NATO alliance and build solidarity in the face of the Ukraine crisis.

Putin: Crimea Always an 'Inalienable' Part of Russia

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Russian President Vladimir Putin says Ukraine's Crimea region has always been an "inalienable" part of Russia -- yet another move likely to further escalate tensions with Ukraine and the West.Mr. Putin was outlining Crimea's importance to Russia Tuesday in a speech before the Russian parliament. On Monday, Mr. Putin endorsed a draft treaty to make Crimea part of the Russian Federation. To come into force, the treaty must go through several more procedures including...

Putin: Crimea vote extremely convincing 

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Russian President Vladimir Putin discusses Crimea's referendum vote to join Russia.
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Putin Signs Treaty to Annex Crimea

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Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty to annex the breakaway Ukrainian region of Crimea, defying Western sanctions against senior officials and denunciations of the move as a violation of international law.

Putin condemns western hypocrisy as he confirms annexation of Crimea 

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Russian president makes speech laced with bluster and anger at west, saying Russia has been 'cheated again and again'

Follow the latest developments on our live blog
Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of Crimea on Tuesday in a searing speech to assembled political elites in Moscow shot through with angry rhetoric about western aggression and hypocrisy.
The Russian president summoned the federal assembly, which includes both houses of parliament and all key political leaders, for an extraordinary session in the Kremlin's St George Hall.
Putin delivered an hour-long speech laced with patriotic bluster and anger at the west, whose politicians he said "call something white today and black tomorrow".
He was frequently interrupted by applause and at the end of the speech signed documents together with the de facto leader of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov – who came to power after seizing the local parliament at gunpoint last month – to absorb the territory into Russia.
Putin recognised Crimea as an independent state late on Monday evening, making it easier toincorporate into the Russian Federation than if it were still Ukrainian territory. Kiev has said it will never give up its claim to Crimea, but is unable to respond to Russia militarily due to the huge disparity in their respective martial forces.
Ukrainian politician Vitali Klitschko, who will stand in presidential elections in May, called on Tuesday for Ukraine to sever diplomatic ties with Russia.
Announcing the suspension of joint naval exercises with Russia and of export licences for military items to Moscow, the British foreign secretary, William Hague, said Putin had chosen the "route of isolation". The US vice-president, Joe Biden, said the world had rejected Russia's "flawed logic" and threatened further sanctions.
"In the hearts and minds of people, Crimea has always been and remains an inseparable part of Russia," said Putin, who added that ethnic Russians had found themselves isolated from the motherland when the Soviet Union collapsed, both in Crimea and elsewhere.
"Millions of Russians went to sleep in one country and woke up living abroad, as a national minority in former republics of the union. The Russian people became one of the biggest, if not the biggest, split-up nation in the world."
Putin aired a list of foreign policy grievances going back to 2000, saying "we were cheated again and again, with decisions being taken behind our back", and insisted that it was ludicrous to claim the precedent of Kosovo – which was recognised by the west as an independent country following its secession from Serbia – as unique.
"How would our colleagues claim its uniqueness? It turns out because during the Kosovo conflict there were many human casualties. What, is that supposed to be a valid legal argument?" he asked.
With the annexation of Crimea considered a fait accompli, Kiev and the west are now looking with anxiety to eastern Ukraine, where a number of protests by elements of the Russian-speaking population have ended in violence and led the Russian foreign ministry to speak about the possible necessity of "defending" Russian speakers there.
"Don't believe those who try to frighten you with Russia and who scream that other regions will follow after Crimea," said Putin on Tuesday, going some way to allaying those fears. "We do not want a partition of Ukraine. We do not need this."
However, he reiterated his belief that Moscow feels the Kiev government is illegitimate, and also referenced long-held Russian fears of encirclement by the west.
"I do not want to be welcomed in Sevastopol by Nato sailors," said Putin, speaking of the Crimean port where Russia's Black Sea fleet is based. The city has special status within Crimea, and officially, Russia will welcome two new nations into its fold: Crimea, and the city of Sevastopol.
In Crimea itself, thousands gathered in Sevastopol to watch Putin's speech on a big screen in the main square and broke into the Russian national anthem when it was over. In the Crimean capital, Simferopol, men on ladders removed the large gold Ukrainian-language lettering on the regional parliament.
It is expected that in the coming months Crimea will switch to the rouble and introduce Moscow time and the Russian visa system. Russia will begin ratification of the treaty to formalise Crimea's annexation within days.
The grab of Crimea went ahead despite the US and EU announcing sanctions against several top Russian officials on Monday. On Tuesday the foreign ministry responded angrily to the sanctions and said reciprocal measures would be introduced.
"Attempts to speak to Russia in the language of force and threaten Russian citizens with sanctions will lead nowhere," said the ministry's statement.
"The adoption of restrictive measures is not our choice; however, it is clear that the imposition of sanctions against us will not go without an adequate response from the Russian side."

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Obama Calls for G-7 Meeting on Crimea

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US, G-7 Members Had Already, in Rebuke To Russia, Suspended Preparations For G-8 Meeting In Russia

Putin: Crimea vote extremely convincing 

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Russian President Vladimir Putin discusses Crimea's referendum vote to join Russia.
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Vladimir Putin's message to the west: Russia is back

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In address to adoring MPs, president makes clear the Ukraine crisis is a sign that Russia will no longer take things lying down
Vladimir Putin likes to take his kit off in public. But Tuesday's exhibition of naked power by Russia's president at a joint parliamentary session in Moscow was delivered fully clothed before a conservatively suited audience of officials and adoring, applauding fans dressed up as MPs.
Speaking at a white rostrum amid flags, flourishes and gold leaf, a dapper-looking Putin's message was clear: after years of being cheated and dissed by the western powers, Russia is back. The US and friends could like it or lump it. But as the Ukraine crisis showed, Russia would no longer take it lying down.
Putin spoke primarily about Crimea, whose cause was "sacred" and whose return to the Russian fold was justified, democratic and legal. But his broader theme was that Russia was finally standing up for its rights nearly a quarter of a century after the Soviet collapse.
Russia was fully aware of the possible negative consequences in its relations with the west of Crimea's annexation, he said. But in handing over the region to Ukraine in 1954 like "a sack of potatoes", Nikita Khrushchev had erred, and now that wrong was being righted.
Crimea's independence, declared on Monday, lasted precisely 24 hours. Sugaring the pill, Putin went out of his way to placate the Tartar minority, which largely boycotted Sunday's referendum, promising equal language rights, acknowledgement of Stalin-era injustices, and full rehabilitation into a "common homeland".
The Tartars, he said, were back where they belonged – an assurance those with longer memoriesmay find alarming.
He also pledged support for a strong, prosperous Ukraine, claiming Russia was not planning to rescue ethnic Russian minorities in "other regions after Crimea … we don't need that". This may come as a relief to politicians and pundits proclaiming a new cold war – if they believe him, that is.
At the same time, Putin directed some trademark insults at the new government in Kiev, whose leaders he said had seized power in a coup last month using "terror, violence and pogroms". These people were neo-Nazis, nationalists, antisemites and anti-Russians whose antecedents could be traced back to Adolf Hitler. "There is no one to negotiate with [in Kiev]. I'm not kidding." Following this undemocratic putsch, Russia could not possibly have left Crimea "in the lurch". To do so would have been treachery.
And anyway, he said, Crimeans had a right to self-determination, just like the people of Kosovo or any other aspiring independent nation. He did not mention Scotland. Luckily for Alex Salmond, there are not many distressed ethnic Russians on the Upper Clyde.
Putin is no orator. His delivery is wooden. His expression rarely changes. A smile seems like a concession. Even when his words grow angry and accusatory, his face remains impassive. This surface lack of feeling, concealing deep resentments, has a chilling effect.
While his address to the Duma covered a wide range of issues including relations with the US and Germany, it was in large part a 50-minute whinge, a disappointed man's whine about life's unfairness and a historical determinism that boomeranged on its most devout adherents.
Putin is a master of the politics of grievance. The sudden collapse of the Soviet Union meant that "millions" of Russians had gone to bed in one country and woken up in another. The Russian motherland – the rodina – had been divided, then preyed upon by its enemies.
It was "inconceivable" that Russia and Ukraine should have been separated, he said, but that is what had happened. The ill-fated Commonwealth of Independent States was supposed to hold the former Soviet lands together, but it had been betrayed.
The western powers led by America had wilfully destroyed the power balance of the bipolar world. "The west believed it was entrusted by God to decide the fate of other peoples," he complained. They used pressure and coalitions to get what they wanted, and if they did not, they ignored the UN security council and used military force.
This is what had happened in 1999, when Belgrade, capital of Russia's ally Serbia, was bombed by Nato. Something similar had happened in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Because of western exploitation and manipulation, the Arab spring had become the "Arab winter".
Russia itself, meanwhile, had been "cheated and deceived" as Nato steadily expanded eastwards, the US pursued missile defence plans, and issues such freer trade and visa liberalisation were delayed.
Putin's bitterness and bile poured out unchecked, mixed up with an apparently bolstered but unfounded confidence that the US and the EU are virtually incapable of beating back Russia's new cross-border assertiveness.
Western countries claimed Russia had broken international law by intervening in Crimea, he said. But this was sheer hypocrisy – another glaring example of the double standards displayed by the US and others. "It is good they realise international law still exists. Better late than never," he said.

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Ukraine: Crimea still Ukrainian territory 

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CNN's Ivan Watson reports on the Ukrainian reaction to the Russian treaty with Crimea and plans to annex the region.
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Kremlin: Crimea now part of Russia 

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Vladimir Putin signs a treaty with Crimean leaders, moving to officially make the region part of the Russian Federation.
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Ukraine 2014 | Vladimir Putin Announces Crimea Annexation | The New York Times 

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In his address to the Federal Council, President Vladimir V. Putin asks it to ratify the annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol to Russia. Read the story here: ...
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U.S. Suspends Diplomatic Relations with Syria

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(WASHINGTON) — A senior State Department official says the Syrian government has been told it must immediately suspend its diplomatic and consular missions in the United States.
The order Tuesday essentially shutters the Syrian embassy in Washington and its honorary consulates in Troy, Mich., and Houston, Texas, and forces all personnel who are not legal U.S. residents to leave the country.
It comes three years since the start of the bloody civil war in Syria that has killed more than 140,000 people.
U.S. special envoy to Syria Daniel Rubenstein said the order responds to a decision by the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad to suspend its own consular services.
However, Rubenstein said the U.S. wants to continue diplomatic relations with Syria and maintain a relationship if Assad steps down from power.

Russian Forces Storm Military Base In Crimea

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Russian troops storm a military base in the Crimean capital Simferopol, injuring one serviceman, say reports.

Biden Slams Russia Over Annexation

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U.S. Vice President Joe Biden condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin's latest steps to annex Crimea, saying its allies are ready to enact more sanctions to punish Russia.

Putin signs treaty on Crimea joining Russia 

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President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday signed a treaty with the leaders of Crimea on the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula becoming part of Russia, state television...
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Vladimir Putin signs treaty for Russia to take Crimea from Ukraine – video

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President Vladimir Putin signs a treaty which absorbs Crimea into Russia on Tuesday, saying the peninsula has always been part of Russia

Ukraine's Firtash says his detention 'political', raps U.S.

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VIENNA (Reuters) - Ukrainian industrialist Dmytro Firtash, arrested in Austria last week at the request of the United States pending his possible extradition for suspected corruption, accused Washington on Tuesday of having him detained for "purely political" reasons.

Putin, Crimean Leaders Sign Treaty Making Peninsula Part of Russia

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and officials from Crimea signed a treaty Tuesday to make the Black Sea peninsula part of Russia, just two days after it voted to secede from Ukraine in a referendum the United States and the European Union call "illegal."Mr. Putin signed the document with the prime minister of Crimea's regional government, the speaker of Crimea's parliament, and the mayor of the Crimean city of Sevastopol, where Russia's Black Sea fleet is based....

Ukraine Says Soldier Killed as Russia Moves on Crimea

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Tensions in the disputed region of Crimea reached new heights Tuesday as Ukraine said a military officer was killed shortly after Russia formally annexed the breakaway peninsula.
Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk blamed Russian forces—who he said stormed a Ukranian military outpost near the city of Simferopol—for the killing.
“Today, Russian soldiers began shooting at Ukrainian servicemen,” he said, according to AFP. “This is a war crime.”
His claim could not be immediately verified, but if true, it would mark the first fatality in clashes between the two countries’ militaries during the weeks-long crisis in Crimea.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, delivering a televised address to the country’s parliament on Tuesday, defended his country’s decision to absorb the region after it voted Sunday to split from Ukraine.
“Crimea has always been an integral part of Russia in the hearts and minds of people,” Putin said.

Iran Nuclear Talks Shadowed by Ukraine Tension

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Iran and the six world powers have launched a new round of nuclear talks as increasing tensions between the West and Russia cast a shadow over the negotiations.The latest discussions began Tuesday in Vienna after what a spokesman for the European Union's foreign policy chief described as a "constructive" meeting between Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.Later, the full delegations sat down together for talks expected to end late...

Ukraine government tries to defuse tension with Russia, pledges it won’t join NATO

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KIEV - Ukraine’s new pro-Western government voiced restraint on Tuesday in the face of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s moves to officially annex Crimea, pledging that Ukraine would not join NATO and would take steps to improve ties with Moscow.
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