After effectively taking control over the contested Crimean peninsula off the coast of the Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin formally submitted a request to send Russian troops to the mainland. His request has swiftly been approved by the Federation Council.
Coming merely hours after President Obama advised that "there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine," Putin's request was largely seen as a formality. After a unanimous response from Russia's upper house, the remaining decision comes from a final vote, which is still to come.
Here is the text of Vladimir Putin's request to the upper house:
“Due to the extraordinary situation that has taken shape in Ukraine and the threat to the lives of citizens of the Russian Federation, our compatriots, and the personnel of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation who are deployed on the territory of Ukraine (the Autonomous Republic of Crimea) under an international treaty, I hereby introduce, under Clause (g) of Part 1 of Article 2012 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, an appeal for the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine pending the normalization of the social and political situation in that country.”
While the U.S. contributed its stance on the issue in Obama's press conference yesterday, members of the EU appear to additionally stand against the Russian intervention. Finland's Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen, perhaps a little too late, called for "cool heads" in the crisis.
"We wish to support Ukraine's interim government in bringing things under control," Mr. Katainen said.
While Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has also weighed in, saying that Putin's intervention breaks international law.
Russian influence has already begun to taken hold, as a crowd in the center of Donetsk pulled down a Ukrainian flag and raised a Russian flag in its place.
[Image via AP]