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Putin says Crimea ‘inseparable’ part of Russia

Russia's President Vladimir Putin addresses a joint session of Russian parliament on Crimea in the Kremlin in Moscow on March 18, 2014/AFP

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin addresses a joint session of Russian parliament on Crimea in the Kremlin in Moscow on March 18, 2014/AFP

MOSCOW, March 18- President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said Crimea “was and is an inseparable part of Russia” in the hearts of his countrymen, as he gave a keynote address on the planned absorption of Crimea into Russian territory.

Putin slammed the Soviet era decision by Nikita Khrushchev to hand Crimea to the Ukrainian Soviet republic as being riddled with “violations”. He said the weekend’s referendum vote by Crimeans to join Russia was of “historic importance”.

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