MOSCOW, March 17 (RIA Novosti) – Leaders of all four factions in the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, jointly submitted a draft statement on Ukraine’s breakaway region of Crimea on Monday evening.
The draft resolution welcomes the results of Sunday’s referendum, in which 96.7 percent of voters in the southern Ukrainian region had backed reunification with Russia after 60 years as part of Ukraine.
State Duma lawmakers undertake “to contribute to the social and economic development of Crimea and the prosperity of its population, to maintain peace, calmness and conciliation on this territory during the transition period.”
On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin will address an assembly of both houses of parliament, as well as heads of regions and representatives of public organizations about Crimea’s reunification request.
The referendum in the autonomous republic within Ukraine, which was held on Sunday amid an ongoing political crisis in the country, is at the center of the most serious geopolitical showdown between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War.