Russia's Putin approves draft bill to annex Crimea

Associated Press
Pro-Russian people celebrate in the central square in Sevastopol, Ukraine, late Sunday, March 16, 2014. Russian flags fluttered above jubilant crowds Sunday after residents in Crimea voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. The United States and Europe condemned the ballot as illegal and destabilizing and were expected to slap sanctions against Russia for it.(AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov)
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MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's President Vladimir Putin has approved a draft bill for Crimea's annexation.

The Black Sea peninsula on Monday voted overwhelming to secede from Ukraine and seek to joint Russia.

The decree signed by Putin and posted on the official government website Tuesday morning is one of the steps which would formalize the annexation of Crimea.

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