A Crimean referendum Sunday voted for the secession of the peninsula from Ukraine. On Monday, the government in Crimea officially applied for annexation by Russia.

 

Putin supports the legitimacy of the referendum and has signed an executive order recognizing Crimea as a “sovereign and independent state.”

 

However, beyond Russia and Crimea, no other nation recognizes the Crimean referendum as legitimate. Secretary of State John Kerry has stated, “Under the constitution of Ukraine, the Ukrainian legislature in Kiev would have to vote to legitimize a secession effort by any state.” British foreign secretary William Hague has also stated that the United Kingdom, along with the rest of the European Union, will not respect the results of the referendum in Crimea:

 

“Any referendum that is called at a matter of days notice, has no proper campaigning, no access to the region for the leaders of the country, in the presence of tens of thousands of troops, is never going to enjoy credibility in the eyes of the great majority of the rest of the world.”

 

Hague said that, “every diplomatic channel remains open to Russia,” and hopes that the crisis can be resolved peacefullyObama has also continued to urge Putin to seek diplomatic means to reach a resolution.

 

In the meantime, Western powers have placed sanctions on more than two dozen Russian and Ukrainian officials. The sanctioned individuals, who cannot remove funds from or travel to the countries that have placed the sanctions, include aides to Putin and top Crimean officials deemed responsible for the secession and annexation efforts. One of Putin’s aides, Vladislav Surkov, reported that he considers his name on the list as an honor, seeing it as a recognition of his service to Russia.

 

The Daily Beast is reporting that Putin is retaliating and creating his own list of US officials to receive similar sanctions. As of now, who will make the list is speculative. However, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durban, who co-authorized a resolution criticizing Russia’s recent actions, is expected to be one of the individuals sanctioned. He has stated his, “Lithuanian-born mother would be proud her son made Vladimir Putin’s American enemies list.” Sen. John McCain, who may also receive sanctions, has stated that he, too, “would be honored to make that list.”

 

The US sanctions are the most comprehensive sanctions against Russia since the cold war, and it appears Putin will soon retaliate. US-Russian relations continue to worsen as a diplomatic resolution fails to be reached and officials on both sides express their honor to be punished by the other nation. The situation is beginning to look strikingly familiar.

 

Related Stories:

Crimea’s Secession Vote Escalates; US-Russia Disputes

Progress Not Perfection: US-Russian Peace Talks Regarding Ukraine

Russian Action in Crimea Escalates; Uncertain Information and Threats From US and Russia

 

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