MOSCOW, March 19 (RAPSI) – President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday submitted the billss confirming Crimea’s unification with Russia to the lower house of parliament, official spokesman for the State Duma told RIA Novosti.

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.