Putin Signs Bill Completing Annexation of Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill Friday completing the annexation of Crimea. The ceremony at the Kremlin means Crimea has become part of the Russian Federation as two administrative districts, Crimea and the port city of Sevastopol. Before signing the law, Putin hailed the incorporation of Crimea into Russian territory as a “remarkable event,” The Associated Press reported. Crimean voters on Sunday overwhelmingly backed a referendum to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. Ukraine and the West have rejected the vote, held just two weeks after Russian troops had invaded Crimea, following the ouster of Ukraine's pro-Moscow president. The U.S. and E.U. leveled sanctions on dozens of Russian officials before and after Putin declared his intention to annex Crimea. The Kremlin responded by imposing its own sanctions on top U.S. officials on Thursday.

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