Putin, Crimea leaders sign treaty on Crimea joining Russia
President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday signed a treaty with the leaders of Crimea on the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula becoming part of Russia, state television showed.
Putin signed the treaty with Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov and other Crimean leaders at a ceremony at the Kremlin attended by both houses of parliament. Lawmakers, who still have to ratify the treaty, broke into applause and cheers after the signing.
The Kremlin said on Tuesday that it now considers Crimea part of Russia following the signing of a treaty, despite strong objections from the international community which insists the Black Sea peninsula is Ukrainian territory.
"The Republic of Crimea is considered to be part of Russia from the date of the signing of the treaty," the Kremlin said, minutes after President Vladimir Putin signed the treaty with Crimean leaders on bringing the Russian-speaking region under Kremlin rule.