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Agreement between Russia and Republic of Crimea signed

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chair of the State Council of the Republic of Crimea Vladimir Konstantinov, the republic's Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov and Sevastopol's mayor Aleksei Chalyi have signed an interstate agreement on accession of the Republic of Crimea into the Russian Federation and creation of new sub-federal entities of the Russian Federation.

According to the legislation, after signing the agreement, the president turns to the Constitutional Court of Russia asking to give an assessment of the document's compliance with the Constitution of Russia. In case of a positive assessment, the agreement together with the draft federal constitutional law determining the name of the new entity, its status, borders and interim statutes is submitted to the State Duma. If both documents are adopted by the two chambers of parliament and signed by the president, the Article 65 of the Russian Constitution determining the list of sub-federal entities is amended by adding the names of the new entities.

March 16, a referendum was held in Crimea. 96.77% of the voters supported accession to Russia. On Monday, Crimea's Supreme Council declared the republic's independence and addressed Russia proposing to join the Federation as a sub-federal entity with republican status. The City Council of Sevastopol also adopted a statute on joining Russia as an independent sub-federal entity, city with a federal status.

On the same day, Vladimir Putin signed a decree on recognizing the Republic of Crimea as an independent and sovereign state. March 18, in compliance with law, the president notified the parliament and Russia's government about the proposals of Crimean parliament and the Legislative Assembly of Sevastopol on accepting them in the Russian Federation.

At present, the Russian Federation comprises 83 sub-federal entities.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 18Mar14]

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