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Crimean lawmakers set vote for becoming part of Russia

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SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — Lawmakers in Crimea declared their intention today to split from Ukraine and join Russia instead, and scheduled a referendum in 10 days for voters to decide the fate of the disputed peninsula. Russia’s parliament, clearly savoring the action, introduced a bill intended to make this happen.

The Obama administration slapped new visa restrictions against pro-Russian opponents to the new Ukraine government in Kiev, and cleared the way for upcoming financial sanctions, as the West began punishing Moscow for refusing to withdraw its troops from the strategic region that also houses Russia’s Black Sea fleet.

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