Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed this weekend’s referendum in Crimea, saying Tuesday that the nearly 97% of its residents who voted to join Russia was “an extremely convincing figure.”
Putin, speaking to a joint session of Parliament in Moscow, stressed the historical and cultural ties between Russia and Crimea.
“In our hearts we know Crimea has always been an inalienable part of Russia,” he said.
Crimea is an autonomous region within Ukraine with a majority Russian-speaking population. It has its own parliament, but the Ukrainian government had veto power over its actions.
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