Crimea Applies to Join Russia
US, EU says 'costs' will be imposed on Russia
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2014 2:59 AM CDT
Updated Mar 17, 2014 7:39 AM CDT
Crimea's Russia-backed leader Sergei Aksyonov gestures as people celebrate in Lenin Square in downtown Simferopol last night.   (AP Photo/Max Vetrov)

(Newser) – Crimea declared independence from Ukraine today, with officials claiming an overwhelming 96.7% of voters voted to join Russia—but the US and its European allies say the vote in the Ukrainian region was illegal and the results will never be accepted. The White House says President Obama has warned Vladimir Putin that the result "would never be recognized by the United States and the international community" and that "we are prepared to impose additional costs on Russia for its actions," reports the Washington Post.

Crimea's leaders formally applied to join Russia today, and while the Russian parliament had been expected to wait until the end of the week to debate the issue, it is now believed that the region can be absorbed under existing Russian laws, reports the BBC. In what analysts believe could be the first step in a long and damaging cycle of economic retaliation, European Union officials plan to slap sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, on scores of top Russian and Crimean officials today, Reuters reports.

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Mar 18, 2014 10:10 AM CDT
We have our own problems in America. Liberal Socialism.
Mar 18, 2014 3:50 AM CDT
This is rediculous,It's "democracy" at gun point,how can 60% populations russians,all want to join russia and get a 95% majority vote,it's ludicris,Ukraine has more hopes for them all than russia and it's low standards
Mar 17, 2014 4:54 PM CDT
Let them have what they voted for. Eventhough the vote was a bit off color what the heck so is ours. (too many lobbiests) When they find out it sux, they can blame each other just like our politicians. Til then send Putin all the unpaid bills and say Pappa pay these will ya we're a bit short this month. When the people find out theres a turd in the punchbowl they can handle it like we do.Whine moan and bitch and do nuttin about it.I think they need to take Pitin and Obama and toss them out on the lawn and let them go at it . The people can all sit around and eat hot dogs and drink Vodka together. Bet on the outcome and have a picnic. Times have changed Theres already many protests in Russia also, they just dont tell you that one.Theres enough problems here to worry about but they play bury your head in the sand and hope they go away.Guess what............