Here we go again. First Ukraine, now this.
Another puppet government sucks up to Russia.
Crimea’s parliament voted to join Russia on Thursday and its Moscow-backed government set a referendum on the decision in 10 days’ time in a dramatic escalation of the crisis over the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula.
The sudden acceleration of moves to bring Crimea, which has an ethnic Russian majority and has effectively been seized by Russian forces, formally under Moscow’s rule came as European Union leaders held an emergency summit groping for ways to pressure Russia to back down and accept mediation.
……The Crimean parliament voted unanimously on Thursday “to enter into the Russian Federation with the rights of a subject of the Russian Federation”.
The decision, which diplomats said could not have been made without Putin’s approval, raised the stakes in the most serious east-west confrontation since the end of the Cold War.
The vice premier of Crimea, home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, said a referendum on the status would take place on March 16. All state property would be “nationalized”, the Russian ruble adopted and Ukrainian troops treated as occupiers and forced to surrender or leave, he said.
A Crimean parliament official said voters in the region of two million people will be asked two questions: should Crimea be part of the Russian Federation and should Crimea return to an earlier constitution (1992) that gave the region more autonomy?
Putin continues aggressive tactics in the face of the gutless West.
……Far from seeking a diplomatic way out of the crisis, Putin appears to have chosen to create facts on the ground before the West can agree on more than token action against him.
EU leaders had been set to warn but not sanction Russia over its military intervention after Moscow rebuffed Western diplomatic efforts to persuade it to pull forces in Crimea back to their bases.
Get ready for the Soviet Union, Part II.