Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia on 17 March 2014 signed a decree that recognises Crimea as a sovereign state. This signing of the decree has paved a way for absorption of Crimea into Russia.
The signed decree said that Russia has taken into account the referendum of 16 March 2014 of Crimea in which about 97 percent of the voters backed breaking away from Ukraine. Crimean residents voted in support of seceding, seeking to join Russia.
The signing of the decree came after the Crimean Peninsula of Ukraine on 17 March 2014 declared itself as an independent state. On the other hand, the deputy Prime Minister of Crimea has announced that the region has set up a new central bank, which is expecting to get 30 million US dollars in support from Russia.
International stands on the issue of referendum of Crimea
The referendum of Crimea has been rejected by the European Union and the US. They said this referendum as violation of both Ukrainian sovereignty and international norms and imposed sanctions on 21 officials from Russia and Ukraine. Sanction has also been imposed on Viktor Yanukovych, the ousted President of Ukraine.
Apart from these sanctions on the 21 people, European Union has also announced travel ban of those 21 people, who are linked to unrest in Crimea along with freezing of their assets.
Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General of UN has said that the referendum will exacerbate the situation in Ukraine. He has urged the parties concerned to intensify efforts and engage constructively toward a peaceful solution.
Earlier, the pro-Russian gunmen in February 2014 took over Crimea, which was followed after President Viktor Yanukovych fled to Russia following months of street protests. Since 1954, Crimea has been a part of Ukraine of which maximum population are ethnic Russian.
Comment and Analysis
This decree of Russia that recognises Crimea as an independent state has paved the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War. This is the first time, when the US and Russia have reached at a verge of collision course, which is the first, since the end of the cold war (about two decades ago). Since cold war end, the two nations never reached so close of conflict.
On the other hand, it seems that Russia and Europe will start a new cold war which will last for many years as the Europe has warned Russia against its destabilizing steps against eastern Ukraine.