The Ukrainian Parliament has approved partial mobilisation of the military reserves, a day after Crimea voted overwhelmingly to secede from the country and join Russia.
The interim Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov’s decree, which calls for the mobilisation of 40,000 reservists across the country within 45 days, was supported by 275 of 308 MPs sitting in the session hall on Monday.
Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council Secretary Andriy Parubiy was quoted by Reuters as saying that around 20,000 reservists would be deployed as part of the armed forces, while the rest would serve in a newly-created National Guard.
"We now have grounds to state that the measures being taken today are enough to prevent a repeat of the Crimean scenario in Ukraine’s south-eastern regions," Parubiy said.
In addition to this, Ukraine’s Parliament agreed to divert $600m from other parts of national budget for procurement of weapons, repairing equipment, and enhancement of training over the next three months, The Washington Post reports.
Speaking in the Parliament, Turchynov slammed Crimea’s referendum as a ‘great farce’ by Russia to conceal the continued aggression in the Black Sea Peninsula, and noted that it ‘will never be recognised either by Ukraine or by the civilised world’.
Having already declared the referendum as ‘illegal’, the US and European Union (EU) have now slapped travel bans and asset freezes on 11 and 21 prominent Russian and Ukrainian officials, including several close aides to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who are believed to be responsible for the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Putin is expected to address both houses of the Russian Parliament today to endorse the annexation of Crimea into the Russian Federation.