Russia not worried about possible West sanctions, backs Crimea split

By Kyle Johnson,

Russia's parliament made it known on Friday the country isn't worried about possible sanctions after it backed Crimea splitting away from Ukraine the day before.

On Thursday, parliament unanimously supported the Crimean parliament's announcement that the issue will be publicly voted on by citizens next week, reports CNN. Parliament upper house speaker Valentina Matvienko said the government "support[s] and welcome[s]" the chance for Crimea to split from Ukraine and join Russia.

Matvienko also noted the West's threat of sanctions isn't a concern. "We have no rights to leave our people when there's a threat to them. None of the sanctions will be able to change our attitude."

Ukraine's interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that any actions taken by Crimea to split away wouldn't be recognized by anyone "in the civilized world."

But, according to The New York Times, Russia continues to seem very unconcerned about what anyone thinks, least of all the interim Ukrainian government. Russia's Gazprom, who provides Ukraine with natural gas has warned it might cut off the country until it gets paid the $1.89 billion the country owes.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov also spoke with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and has made it known that any "hasty and ill-considered steps" toward sanctions "would inevitably backfire on the United States itself."

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