Putin’s popularity soars

charterunRussian President Vladimir Putin’s popularity has soared after the historic referendum in Crimea.

Putin spoke to Barack Obama on the phone, after the overwhelming majority of Crimeans expressed their willingness to join Russia.

As Putin spoke about the referendum, he emphasised “the precedent set by Kosovo, among other things.”

The referendum was fully in line with international standards, its results should be recognised both in Ukraine and western countries, Austrian member of the European Parliament Johann Stadler said at the final press-conference of international observers on Sunday.

With a record-breaking turnout of over 80 percent, according to preliminary results, over 95 percent of the Crimean population said ‘yes’ to the reunion of the republic with Russia. International observers have not reported any violations or anything resembling any kind of pressure during the vote.

However, Obama said the Unites States and the “international community” will “never recognize” the results of the referendum “administered under threats of violence and intimidation,” according to White House spokesman.

Obama “emphasized that Russia’s actions were in violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and that the US in coordination with its European partners is “prepared to impose additional costs on Russia,” the White House added.

The Republic of Crimea has addressed the UN seeking recognition as a sovereign state and called on Russia to integrate it into the Russian Federation. 96.77 percent of the Crimean population voted ‘for’ the integration in a referendum in the final outcome.

“The Republic of Crimea intends to build its relations with other states on the basis of equality, peace, mutual neighborly cooperation, and other generally agreed principles of political, economic and cultural cooperation between states.”

On March 30 Crimea will switch to the Moscow Standard Time under a resolution passed by the Crimean parliament at an extraordinary session on Monday a day after the residents overwhelmingly voted to join Russia.

“To establish across the Republic of Crimea the time standard in accordance with the third time zone with the time change at 2 pm on March 30, 2014, by moving the clock two hours forward,” the resolution says.

Source: RT/Voice of Russia