Putin Says Crimean Referendum Must be Respected

Russia recognizes Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed an agreement in Moscow to formalize Crimea’s absorption into the Russian Federation. In a speech at Russia’s parliament, he insisted Crimea has ‘always been a part of Russia’.  Putin told an audience of Russian lawmakers and Crimean leaders that the region’s weekend referendum on joining Russia was legal and ‘convincing’. This despite condemnation of Russian actions in Crimea and sanctions imposed by the European Union and United States. The EU and U.S. say the referendum was illegal and they won’t recognize Crimea as part of Russia. Natalie Feary reports from Moscow on Putin’s declaration.

Follow Natalie Feary on Twitter: @nataliefeary

Jon Hellevig, an expert on Russian law at the Awara Group, provides his perspective on Putin’s declaration of making Crimea part of the Russian Federation.

Watch complete coverage on referendum in Crimea from CCTV: