A referendum on the status of Crimea will be held March 16, the region’s deputy prime minister announced. Crimeans will be asked to decide if the autonomous republic stays part of Ukraine or joins Russia.

“The referendum will take place March 16,” said the autonomous region’s First Deputy-Premier Rustam Temirgaliev, according to ITAR-TASS.

The new date is two weeks earlier than the one announced last week.

There will be two questions on the ballots.

“The first one: Are you in favor of Crimea becoming a constituent territory of the Russian Federation. The second one: Are you in favor of restoring Crimea’s 1992 constitution,” Temirgaliev said.

According to the 1992 constitution, the autonomous republic is part of Ukraine but has relations with Kiev, defined on the basis of mutual agreements.

Sevastopol residents will take part in the referendum, despite the city enjoying a special status and not officially being a part of Crimea, according to Sergey Shuvainikov, a Crimean MP.

“We will give Sevastopol an opportunity to have its say,” he said, as cited by RIA Novosti.

Meanwhile the Crimean MPs have unanimously voted for the region to become a part of Russia.

“To become part of the Russian Federation as its constituent territory,” says the text of the Crimean parliament’s statement, obtained by RIA Novosti…. see more

source: RT