Putin discussed with his Security Council Crimea proposal to join Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu - AP/Alexei Nikolsky
AFP

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday discussed with his Security Council a request by the pro-Moscow authorities in Crimea to join Russia, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told news agencies.

Putin held an unscheduled meeting with the Security Council to discuss the situation in Ukraine, including the decision on Thursday by the parliament of Crimea to ask to join Russia, RIA Novosti news agency quoted Peskov as saying.

The Kremlin spokesperson gave no more detail of the discussion.

The Russian Security Council includes Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, the chief of the FSB security service Nikolai Bortnikov, the head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Mikhail Fradkov, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and the head of the Kremlin administration Sergei Ivanov.

The Crimean parliament on Thursday voted to ask Putin and the Russian parliament to consider a request for the region to join Russia and for the inhabitants to be asked to back this in a referendum.

Crimea is an autonomous republic of Ukraine that has fallen under the control of Russian forces in recent days following the ouster in Kiev of pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych, who has fled to Russia.

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