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    Will Sanctions Against Russia Work? Current Location : HomePage > News

    Will Sanctions Against Russia Work?

    * : * : admin * : 2014-03-22 * : 0
    Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law for Russia to officially take control of the Crimean peninsula. The signing ceremony took place on Friday after the upper house of Russia's parliament voted to make Crimea a part of Russia. The lower house approved the deal on Thursday, just four days after Crimean voters decided to leave Ukraine and join Russia.

    Local officials in Crimea called a special election on the area's future after Ukrainian lawmakers voted to oust President Viktor Yanukovych. The reported election results were one-sided. Ninety-seven percent of those marking ballots chose to join Russia. Crimean officials announced that over 80 percent of everyone permitted to vote took part in the referendum.

    The Russian president said the vote met international and democratic values for fairness. But many observers questioned the results. Robert Legvold is with Columbia University in New York City.
    "If it was an honest vote and all groups had participated, I would have thought rather than an overwhelming vote, it would have been something like 52 to 53 percent, given the percentage makeup of the groups in Crimea. The fact that it's 97-point-whatever and they report a turnout of 83 percent, creates some suspicion that it wasn't just the shadow of the Russian military presence, but maybe even some manipulation."

    Matthew Rojansky works for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. He thinks the pro-Russian officials in Crimea held the referendum because they expected the results.

    "My sense is this was a product of the times in which there has been a real build-up of fear mongering and the overt pressure of armed men. There is nothing quite like a gun in your face."