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Russian President Putin declares Crimea's independence Updated: 2014-03-18 20:26:28 KST

  Russian President Putin declares Crimea's independence
Let's get the latest on the top stories on the global front
From the fallout of the referendum results in Crimea to the mystery surrounding the missing Malaysian airliner, we go live to our Paul Yi at the news center.
Paul, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday night made it official, annexing Crimea in defiance of the West.
How are Washington and the European Union reacting?

The West is continuing to push for greater sanctions on Moscow over its intervention in the region.
But Russian President Vladimir Putin remains defiant, and is showing no signs of backing down.
Addressing a joint session of parliament on Tuesday, Putin said Crimea was of vital importance to Russia, underlining its historical and cultural links.
Putin then signed a treaty with the leaders of Crimea for the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula to be become part of Russia.
Following the signing ceremony, the Kremlin announced that it now considers Crimea part of Russia, despite strong objections from the international community.

Earlier, the European Union and the U.S. imposed sanctions and asset freezes against Russian and Ukrainian officials.
The Ukrainian parliament has approved the mobilization of up to 40-thousand troops to counter "Russian interference" in the country.
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