Crimea’s regional assembly on Monday declared independence from Ukraine and applied to join Russia, saying all Ukrainian state property on the peninsula would be nationalised.
“The republic of Crimea appeals to the United Nations and to all countries of the world to recognise it as an independent state,” read a document approved by the assembly, a day after the peninsula voted overwhelmingly to become part of Russia.
Sunday’s referendum was not recognised by any countries apart from the Russian Federation, and the United States and the European Union are preparing sanctions against Russia, whose troops have been occupying Crimea for several weeks.
Speaking to the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said, “I am confident we will agree some sanctions – some travel bans, some asset freezes on individuals in Russia. We will continue our efforts to make a diplomatic breakthrough with Russia in the coming days”.