Russia President Vladimir Putin.

Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin said he supported a request from Ukraine’s breakaway region of Crimea to join Russia after recognising the Black Sea peninsula as an independent state.

Russia should sign a treaty accepting Crimea’s accession, according to an order signed by Putin and published on a government website today.

He is scheduled to address lawmakers and regional leaders at 3 pm in Moscow to discuss Crimea, which voted on March 16 to join Russia.

The move signals Russia won’t back down from annexing the territory after US and European Union imposed sanctions on Russian officials and threatened further measures to dissuade Putin from taking Crimea.

Russian stocks and the ruble added to gains yesterday after the penalties were announced as investors speculated that the immediate effect would be muted.

“Further provocations will achieve nothing, except to further isolate Russia and diminish its place in the world,” US President Barack Obama said yesterday at the White House.

The US can “calibrate our response” based on whether Russia chooses “to escalate or to de-escalate the situation.” - Bloomberg News