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On 11 March 2014 Crimea declared independence. Ukraine and international society has not recognised that act. However Crimea’s independence was recognised by Russia and on 18 March 2014 an agreement on the accession of the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation was signed. Many countries and international organisations have condemned that step, viewing it as illegal annexation. Regardless of how this situation is treated however, it is at present a fait accompli. Such a situation evokes legal consequences both in the internal law of Ukraine and Russia as well as on the plane of international law. The residents of Crimea appear to be in the worst situation. Legal certainty is a fiction for them now. There are also problems on the international plane. Despite the fact that in the opinion of international society Crimea remains an integral part of Ukraine, in practice there are many conflicting problems of a legal nature that cannot be solved, at least for the time being. This article analyses the legality and certain legal consequences of the “accession” of Crimea to Russia and the effect of this accession on the legal situation for residents of Crimea. The article concludes that legal situation of Crimeans will not improve anytime soon, and that the legal problems which have arisen on the international plane will not be resolved soon either.
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