Putin signs decree recognizing Crimea as independent state
Russian President Vladimir Putin - REUTERS/Michael Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

MOSCOW, Russia: President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed a decree formally recognizing Crimea as an independent state following its vote to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, news agencies quoted a Kremlin statement as saying.

Russian news agencies quoted the decree as recognizing “the Republic of Crimea, in which the city of Sevastopol enjoys special status, as a sovereign and independent state.”

The decree was issued “considering the expression of the will of the people of Crimea at the general Crimean referendum, which was held on March 16, 2014,” it said.

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