Crimea Parliament Declares Independence From Ukraine After Referendum

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Crimea Parliament Declares Independence From Ukraine After Referendum
Svetlana Kalisetskaya, chairman of polling committee, playfully salutes inside a voting station after completing preparations for Sunday's referendum at a polling station in Perevalne, Ukraine, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Tensions are high in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, where a referendum is to be held Sunday on whether to split off from Ukraine and seek annexation by Russia.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Protestors taking Russian flags during a pro Russian rally with Russian state flags at a central square in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Russian forces backed by helicopter gunships and armored vehicles Saturday took control of a village near the border with Crimea on the eve of a referendum on whether the region should seek annexation by Moscow, Ukrainian officials said. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
A pro-Russian soldier stands close to the main gate of an Ukrainian military base in Perevalne, Ukraine, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Tensions are high in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, where a referendum is to be held Sunday on whether to split off from Ukraine and seek annexation by Russia. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
A man peers from the back of a military truck driving downtown Simferopol, Ukraine, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Tensions are high in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, where a referendum is to be held Sunday on whether to split off from Ukraine and seek annexation by Russia. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
A pro-Russian soldier is backdropped by trucks that define the limits of the pro-Russian troops staging area in the vicinity of an Ukrainian military base in Perevalne, Ukraine, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Tensions are high in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, where a referendum is to be held Sunday on whether to split off from Ukraine and seek annexation by Russia. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Ukrainian soldiers walk by a pro-Russian soldier in Perevalne, Ukraine, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Tensions are high in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, where a referendum is to be held Sunday on whether to split off from Ukraine and seek annexation by Russia. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Ukrainian soldiers walk as the sun sets in Perevalne, Ukraine, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Tensions are high in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, where a referendum is to be held Sunday on whether to split off from Ukraine and seek annexation by Russia. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
A girl holds a kitten she is trying to sell in a market in Simferopol, Ukraine, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Tensions are high in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, where a referendum is to be held Sunday on whether to split off from Ukraine and seek annexation by Russia. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, left, and United States? U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power interact before an U.N. Security Council meeting on the Ukraine crisis, Saturday, March 15, 2014, at the United Nations headquarters. Russia vetoed a U.N. resolution declaring Sunday's referendum on the future of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula illegal, but its close ally China abstained in a show of Moscow's isolation. Supporters of the U.S.-sponsored resolution knew that Russia would use its veto, but they put the resolution to a vote Saturday morning to show the strength of opposition to Moscow's takeover of Crimea. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Svetlana Kalisetskaya, chairman of polling committee, checks a voting cabin after completing preparations for Sunday's referendum at a polling station in Perevalne, Ukraine, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Tensions are high in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, where a referendum is to be held Sunday on whether to split off from Ukraine and seek annexation by Russia.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
A pro-Russian soldier is back dropped by Russia's flag while manning a machine-gun outside an Ukrainian military base in Perevalne, Ukraine, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Tensions are high in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, where a referendum is to be held Sunday on whether to split off from Ukraine and seek annexation by Russia.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
People shout slogans during a pro Russian rally at a central square in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Russian forces backed by helicopter gunships and armored vehicles Saturday took control of a village near the border with Crimea on the eve of a referendum on whether the region should seek annexation by Moscow, Ukrainian officials said. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Demonstrators wearing red and two WWII veterans, right, march in support of Kremlin-backed plans for the Ukrainian province of Crimea to break away and merge with Russia, in Moscow, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Large rival marches have taken place in Moscow over Kremlin-backed plans for Ukraine?s province of Crimea to break away and merge with Russia. The marchers belong to a group calling itself the ?Essence of Time,? which professes to militate in the interests of social progress in Russia and protect the interests of Russians. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
A man holds a child under Crimean flags as pro-Russian people attend a rally in Lenin Square, in Simferopol, Ukraine, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Tensions are high in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, where a referendum is to be held Sunday on whether to split off from Ukraine and seek annexation by Russia. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
A pro-Russian soldier is silhouetted by the sunset sky as he mans a machine gun outside a Ukrainian military base in Perevalne, Ukraine, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Tensions are high in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, where a referendum is to be held Sunday on whether to split off from Ukraine and seek annexation by Russia. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Ukraine's U.N. Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev speaks during an U.N. Security Council meeting on the Ukraine crisis, Saturday, March 15, 2014, at the United Nations headquarters. Russia vetoed a U.N. resolution declaring Sunday's referendum on the future of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula illegal, but its close ally China abstained in a show of Moscow's isolation. Supporters of the U.S.-sponsored resolution knew that Russia would use its veto, but they put the resolution to a vote Saturday morning to show the strength of opposition to Moscow's takeover of Crimea. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
People shout slogans during a pro Russian rally at a central square in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Russian forces backed by helicopter gunships and armored vehicles Saturday took control of a village near the border with Crimea on the eve of a referendum on whether the region should seek annexation by Moscow, Ukrainian officials said. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
A demonstrator carries Russian and Ukrainian flags during a march to oppose president Vladimir Putin's policies in Ukraine, in Moscow, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Large rival marches have taken place in Moscow over Kremlin-backed plans for Ukraine?s province of Crimea to break away and merge with Russia. More than 10,000 people turned out Saturday for a rally in the center of the city held to oppose what many demonstrators described as Russia?s invasion of the Crimean Peninsula. In a nearby location, a similar sized crowd voiced its support for Crimea?s ethnic Russian majority, who Moscow insists is at threat from an aggressively nationalist leadership now running Ukraine. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Members of the new Crimean army attend a morning briefing in Lenin Square, in Simferopol, Ukraine, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Tensions are high in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, where a referendum is to be held Sunday on whether to split off from Ukraine and seek annexation by Russia. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
A pro-Ukrainian demonstrator wearing a mask attends a rally, in Simferopol, Ukraine, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Tensions are high in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, where a referendum is to be held Sunday on whether to split off from Ukraine and seek annexation by Russia. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
A pro-Ukrainian demonstrator attends a rally, back dropped by Ukraine's nation flag, in Simferopol, Ukraine, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Tensions are high in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, where a referendum is to be held Sunday on whether to split off from Ukraine and seek annexation by Russia. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
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MOSCOW (AP) - Russia's foreign ministry is calling on Ukraine to become a federal state and call fresh elections.

In a statement posted on Monday the ministry urged Ukraine's parliament to call a constitutional assembly which could draft a new constitution to make the country federal, handing more power to its regions.

The foreign ministry said the proposals are part of its efforts to ease the tensions in Ukraine by diplomatic means.

Moscow insisted that Ukrainian regions should get broader autonomy and that the country should adopt a "neutral political and military status."

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