Crimean PM says will not allow Ukrainian ministers into region

The statement came as Crimea signed a treaty on officially becoming part of Russia

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Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov said on Wednesday that senior Ukrainian officials dispatched to the region by the government in Kiev, amid tension between military forces, would not be allowed to enter, Russian news agency Interfax reported.

“They are not wanted in Crimea. Nobody will let them into Crimea, they will be sent back,” Interfax quoted Aksyonov as saying after Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk ordered the acting defense minister and first deputy prime minister to fly to Crimea to “resolve the situation” in the region now controlled by Russian forces, Agence France-Presse reported.

The statement came as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Crimean leaders signed on Tuesday a treaty on Crimea officially becoming part of Russia.

Putin signed the treaty with Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov and other Crimean leaders at a ceremony at the Kremlin attended by both houses of parliament. Lawmakers, who still have to ratify the treaty, broke into applause and cheers after the signing.

The Ukrainian foreign ministry said on Tuesday it did not recognize the treaty signed in Moscow that makes the Crimea peninsula a part of Russia.

“We do not recognize and will never recognize the so-called independence and so-called agreement on Crimea’s integration into Russia,” said ministry spokesman Yevgen Perebyinis, adding that the signed accord had “nothing to do with democracy, rule of law or common sense.”

“Putin’s address very clearly demonstrates just how real the threat is that Russia poses to international security and international security,” he added.

(With AFP and Reuters)