ST. PETERSBURG, March 19 (RAPSI) – Russia’s Constitutional Court on Wednesday ruled unanimously that the treaty signed between Crimea and Russia is in full accordance with the Russian constitution, Court Chairman Valery Zorkin told journalists on Wednesday.

An application for the treaty’s review was filed with the Constitutional Court on  Tuesday, the day the treaty was signed following an address by Presdient Vladimir Putin to federal and regional officials. The Constitutional Court hearing was closed to the public on the request of the President Putin himself, who expressed concern over the “situation surrounding Crimea and Sevastopol.”

According to Chairman Zorkin, the court ruled unanimously that the treaty is in compliance with the constitution of Russian Federation.

According to the law on accepting new territories (subjects), a foreign state can petition the Russian Federation to join and to sign an international treaty. The president then informs both houses of the parliament and the government, and consults the Constitutional Court. If the court approves the treaty, it is submitted to the lower house of parliament for ratification, along with a federal law that stipulates the name, status, and borders of the new subject. Then, if both houses of parliament support both documents, the constitution is amended to include the new subject.

Crimea, previously an autonomous republic within Ukraine, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new government in Kiev and sought reunification with Russia instead.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who signed a reunification treaty with Crimean leaders on Tuesday, said that Sunday’s referendum on joining Russia was in line with international law and the UN Charter.

The United States and European Union said later they refused to recognize Crimea’s reunification with Russia and consider it a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.