CRIMEA IS TO hold a referendum on whether or not to join Russia according to the region’s vice-premier.
Russian news agency RIA Novosti is reportig that the referendum will be held on 16 March when Crimeans will essentially be asked to decide whether they want to be part of Russia or Ukraine.
The referendum will reportedly have two separate questions, the first will ask whether Crimeans would be in favour of joining the Russian Federation. The second will ask whether the autonomous region should be part of Ukraine.
RIA Novosti also reports that the Crimean parliament have unanimously voted in favour of joining Russia. A request will be made to president Vladimir Putin to join the Russian Federation subject to the ballot on Sunday week.
The Kremlin has confirmed that Putin has been told of the request from pro-Russian Crimean authorities according to AFP news agency.
The announcement comes as EU leaders were set to hold an emergency summit in Brussels later today with Ukraine’s interim prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
Additional reporting from © – AFP 2014