Crimean Parliament Applies To Join Russia

Crimea's parliament declared its independence Monday and applied to join the Russian Federation.

Crimean Parliament Applies To Join Russia
Kyiv Post / Anastasia Vlasova

After Sunday's overwhelming vote to unify Crimea with Russia, it didn't take long for the Crimean parliament to try to make things official. 

The government there has declared its independence and applied to join the Russian Federation "as a new subject . . . with the status of a republic." (Via Channel 4

The move comes a day after Sunday’s widely-watched referendum, in which a reported 96 percent of the region voted to break away from Ukraine. (Via Euronews

While Crimea's ethnic Ukrainians and Tatar minority largely boycotted the vote, turnout was reportedly well-over 80 percent, according to election officials. (Via CBS

The newly-formed government in Kiev called the referendum a circus, citing media censorship and the presence of Russian troops in the country. The U.S. and its European allies dismissed the vote as well, and are expected to finalize sanctions any day now. 

But the threat of sanctions hasn't kept Russia from moving forward with plans to absorb Crimea. NPR notes unnamed Russian officials have been quoted saying they want to annex the region as soon as possible. 

On Monday, about 50 Crimean lawmakers will travel to Moscow and present their request for unification. Russia's parliament is expected to take up that annexation request by Friday.