Svetlana Savchenko, another Crimean lawmaker, said the choice she and her fellow deputies took in favor of joining Russia will force Moscow to make a decision.
But the European leaders appeared divided between nations close to Russia's borders and some Western economic powerhouses notably Germany that were taking a more dovish line.
"This is our principled position," she told The Associated Press. "Now the Russian Federation must begin a procedure will it take us in or not?"
Moscow has threatened to retaliate if any punitive measures are put in place.
in Kiev where tens of thousands of protesters contested the rule of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled to Russia.
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AP) Lawmakers in Crimea voted unanimously Thursday to split from Ukraine and join Russia instead, and scheduled a referendum in 10 Black Air Max 90 Tumblr days for voters on the disputed peninsula to support or reject their decision.
A senior Western diplomat said that the EU leaders, meeting in Brussels to discuss their response to Moscow's move, "will send a clear message that the referendum won't be recognized." The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't allowed to discuss the leaders' closed door talks publicly.
that would speed up the procedure of making that happen.
Crimea lawmakers schedule vote on joining Russia
The Obama administration slapped new visa restrictions against Russian officials and entities and some Ukrainians in Crimea who oppose the new Ukraine government in Kiev, and cleared the way for upcoming financial sanctions, as the West began punishing Moscow for refusing to withdraw its troops from the strategic region that also houses Russia's Black Sea fleet.
Crimea's new leader has said pro Russian forces numbering more than 11,000 now control all access to the peninsula in the Black Sea and have blockaded all military bases that have not yet surrendered.
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On Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin said Russia had no intention of annexing Crimea, while insisting its population has the right to determine the region's status in a referendum. Putin called a meeting of his Security Council on Thursday to discuss Ukraine.
"This is our response to the disorder and lawlessness in Kiev," said Sergei Shuvainikov, a member of the local Crimean legislature. "We will decide our future ourselves."
A Ukrainian Navy officer looks at the scuttled decommissioned Russian vessel "Ochakov" from the Black Sea shore outside the town of Myrnyi, western Crimea, Ukraine, Thursday, March 6, 2014. In the early hours of Thursday Russian naval personnel scuttled the decommissioned ship, blockading access for five Ukrainian Naval vessels now trapped inside of the Southern Naval Headquarters located in Myrnyi in Western Crimea as Russian war vessels patrolled just of the coast. The vessel was brought by Russian naval forces on the 4th of March towed by a tug boat while escorted by a warship and several gun boats. Marines from the Ukrainian navy heard a loud explosion in the early hours of last night coming from the vessel blocking a channel leading to the Black Sea. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was in Brussels to meet with the EU leaders, and clearly agitated over the latest developments in Crimea, urged the Europeans to take strong action against Russia and its Crimean allies.
Not all in this city favored the lawmakers' vote to secede from Ukraine.
"We need to send a very clear message to the Russian government that what has happened is unacceptable and should have consequences," British Prime Minister David Cameron said as he arrived at an emergency meeting of the bloc's 28 leaders.
Russian lawmakers, clearly savoring the action, said that if Crimea votes to become part of Russia, they plan legislation White Nike Air Max 90
The 100 seat parliament in Crimea, which enjoys a degree of autonomy under current Ukrainian law, voted 78 0, with eight abstentions in favor joining Russia and for holding the referendum on March 16. Local voters also will be given the choice of deciding to remain part of Ukraine, but with enhanced local powers.
"This is crazy. Crimea has become Putin's puppet," said Viktor Gordiyenko, 46. "A referendum at gunpoint of Russia weapons is just a decoration for Putin's show. A decision on occupation has already been made."
In Moscow, a prominent member of Russia's parliament, Sergei Mironov, said he has proposed a bill that would simplify the procedure for Crimea to join Russia. However, another senior lawmaker, Leonid Slutsky, said Russia's parliament could only consider such a motion after Crimea's referendum.
Ukraine's prime minister said the Crimean lawmakers' decision is illegitimate, and a European Union official warned that results of any referendum will not be recognized by the West.
In Simferopol, Crimea's capital, about 50 people rallied outside the local parliament Thursday morning waving Russian and Crimean flags. Among the posters they held was one that said "Russia, defend us from genocide."
"We are tired of revolutions, maidans and conflicts, and we want to live peacefully in Russia," said one of the bystanders, Igor Urbansky, 35. "Only Russia can give us a peaceful life."
A referendum had previously been scheduled in Crimea on March 30, but the question to be put to voters was on whether their region should enjoy "state autonomy" within Ukraine.
German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel met with Putin for about an hour in Moscow on Thursday, and said the Russian leader "said neither yes nor no" to establishing a contact group, a small number of diplomats from major powers to spearhead negotiations. Gabriel said Putin only agreed to talk more about the proposal in the coming days.
in Kiev in demanding that Russia pull its forces back from Crimea. sanctions announced Thursday targeted an unspecified and unidentified number of people and entities that the Obama administration accuses of threatening Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial borders. Secretary of State John Kerry headed into a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Rome on the sidelines of a diplomatic forum about Libya.
"This so called referendum has no legal grounds at all," he told a news conference. "Crimea was, is, and will be an integral part of Ukraine."
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Rustam Temirgaliev, first vice premier of the Crimean government, said preparations are underway already to bring Crimea into Russia's "ruble zone."
In Brussels, European Union leaders were gathering to decide what sort of sanctions they can impose on Russia unless it withdraws its troops from Ukraine or engages in credible talks to defuse the situation.
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