Crimea's Parliament Declares Independence05:18
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Crimean lawmakers today approved a resolution declaring the peninsula independent. They then filed an appeal to join the Russian Federation, following the lead of Crimeans who yesterday voted overwhelmingly to break away from Ukraine.

The referendum had divided Crimeans, some of whom think joining Russia will bring better wages and living conditions, and others who accuse Russia of an aggressive land grab.

Moscow is strongly backing the referendum, with Russian President Vladimir Putin set to address a joint session of parliament tomorrow.

Meantime, NATO is vowing to intensify cooperation with Ukraine, saying it plans to increase ties with Ukraine's political and military leadership, including efforts to build the capacity of the Ukrainian military.

Helena Bedwell is covering Crimea for Bloomberg News and joins Here & Now's Robin Young to discuss local reaction to today's vote.

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This segment aired on March 17, 2014.

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