Crimea seeks to become independent state

A member of a self defense volunteer group smokes a cigarette as he sits outside a tent in Kiev's Independence Square, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 11, 2014. (AP Photo/David Azia)
A member of a self defense volunteer group smokes a cigarette as he sits outside a tent in Kiev's Independence Square, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 11, 2014. (AP Photo/David Azia)

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — The Crimean parliament has voted that the Black Sea peninsula will declare itself an independent state if its residents vote to split off from Ukraine and join Russia in a referendum on Sunday.

Crimea’s regional legislature on Tuesday adopted a “declaration of independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.”

The document specified that Crimea will become an independent state if its residents vote in favor of joining Russia in the referendum.

Western nations have said they will not recognize the vote as legitimate.

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