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Crimea Secession Supported by Russian Parliment

“MOSCOW—Russia’s upper house of parliament will support Crimea in its bid to join the Russian Federation, the speaker of the upper house of parliament said Friday.

“If the people of Crimea decide to join Russia in the referendum, we, as the upper house, will certainly support this decision,” Valentina Matvienko said at a meeting with Vladimir Konstantinov, his counterpart in the Crimean parliament.

A delegation from the Crimean peninsula were in Moscow to meet parliamentarians who warmly welcomed the guests and signaled their willingness to support the neighboring region.

Later Friday a group of military and civilian personnel from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe are making another attempt to enter the Crimean peninsula, after being stopped at two border checkpoints the day before, a spokesman for the organization said.

“The group is on their way from Kherson, where they spent the night, and is heading to a checkpoint in the area of a village called Chungar,” Shiv Sharma said, adding that the group of about 40 people is scheduled to arrive around 1330 local time (1130 GMT).

The group, from 22 of the OSCE member states, is traveling to Crimea to assess the situation on Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula from a military perspective…..”

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