Putin moves ahead with procedure to bring Crimea into Russia

MOSCOW, March 18 Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:12am EDT

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MOSCOW, March 18 (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin pressed forward on Tuesday with the procedure for bringing Ukraine's Crimea region into Russia, informing his government and parliament of the Crimean leadership's proposal to join Russia.

The steps, announced by the Kremlin, came a day after Putin recognised Crimea as an independent state following a referendum in which its voters supported joining Russia. Putin is to address parliament later on Tuesday.

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