Mar 06, 2014

By Michael Kramer

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Crimea is a region under “illegal military occupation” and Canada won’t recognize Crimea’s forthcoming referendum on whether to join Russia.

Crimean legislators have voted unanimously to split from Ukraine and join Russia, and will hold a referendum March 16 – to allow voters on the peninsula to be heard.

The Prime Minister says Canada continues to view the situation in Ukraine “with the gravest concern” and will co-operate with its G7 partners and like-minded allies.

He describes Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as an act of aggression and a clear violation both of Ukraine’s sovereignty and international law.

So far, Moscow has refused to withdraw its troops from the region – which also houses Russia’s Black Sea fleet.

Ukraine’s Prime Minister has called the Crimean lawmakers’ decision illegitimate, but Russia says if Crimea votes to become part of Russia, they would introduce legislation to speed up the procedure.

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