Western nations denounce Crimea’s vote to break away from Ukraine and join Russia. The United States and the EU last night gave a statement that they would not recognise the result of a referendum which they regard as “illegitimate” and a violation of Ukrainian sovereignty. Following the overwhelming vote in favour of joining Russia, Crimea’s pro-Russian prime minister Sergey Aksyonov said the peninsula’s parliament would formally apply to Moscow to be annexed.
Crimean lawmakers are expected to fly to the Russian capital later today to open talks.With almost 60% of the population of the Crimea ethnically Russian and many in the minority Ukrainian and Tartar communities boycotting the referendum, the result was widely considered a foregone conclusion. Foreign Secretary William Hague said Moscow which the west believes to have orchestrated events must face “economic and political consequences” for its violation of international norms.