MOSCOW, March 18 President Vladimir Putin has
approved a draft treaty to make Crimea part of Russia, the
Kremlin said on Tuesday, confirming that Russia plans to make
the southern Ukrainian region part of Russia. It said he would
sign the treaty with Crimea's leader.
Putin signed an order on Monday "to approve the draft treaty
between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Crimea on
adopting the Republic of Crimea into the Russian Federation".
The order was part of a series of steps to bring Crimea into
Russia after voters there approved the move in a weekend
referendum that Ukraine and the West have called denounced by
Ukraine and the West as illegal.