Putin Signs Order Recognizing Crimea as 'Sovereign State'

By NBCNews.com

Published 03/17 2014 02:25PM

Updated 03/17 2014 02:27PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Monday recognizing Ukraine's Crimea region as a sovereign state.

The decree posted on the Kremlin's website appeared to be a first step toward integrating Crimea as a part of the Russian Federation.

The decree, which took effect immediately, says Moscow recognition of Crimea as independent is based on "the will of the people of Crimea".

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ukraine-crisis/putin-signs-decree-recognizing-crimea-sovereign-state-n54871

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