Here Al Jazerra America breaks the news.
Russia’s parliament on Friday said it would welcome the addition of Crimea to the Russian Federation if residents vote in favor of the referendum. “If the people of Crimea make the decision in the referendum to join Russia, we, as the upper house, will of course support such a decision,” said Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of the upper house of Russia’s parliament
On Thursday, Crimea’s parliament voted unanimously in favor of joining the Russian Federation. A referendum, asking whether the peninsula should retain ties with Kiev or join the federation, is due to take place on March 16.
“There are many forces that would like the referendum not to happen, and considering the geopolitical situation, we decided the sooner we are done with this vote the quieter it will be and people will feel safer,” the Crimean prime minister, Sergey Aksyonov, told Al Jazeera on Friday.
“We feel that only people who live in Crimea … can make the decision about its territory, its taxes and economic situation.”