From VOA Learning English, this is In The News.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law for Russia to officially take control of the Crimean peninsula. The signing ceremony took place on Friday after the upper house of Russia's parliament voted to make Crimea a part of Russia. The lower house approved the deal on Thursday, just four days after Crimean voters decided to leave Ukraine and join Russia.
Local officials in Crimea called a special election on the area's future after Ukrainian lawmakers voted to oust President Viktor Yanukovych. The reported election results were one-sided. Ninety-seven percent of those marking ballots chose to join Russia. Crimean officials announced that over 80 percent of everyone permitted to vote took part in the referendum.
The Russian president said the vote met international and democratic values for fairness. But many observers questioned the results. Robert Legvold is with Columbia University in New York City.
"If it was an honest vote and all groups had participated, I would have thought rather than an overwhelming vote, it would have been something like 52 to 53 percent, given the percentage makeup of the groups in Crimea. The fact that it's 97-point-whatever and they report a turnout of 83 percent, creates some suspicion that it wasn't just the shadow of the Russian military presence, but maybe even some manipulation."
Matthew Rojansky works for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. He thinks the pro-Russian officials in Crimea held the referendum because they expected the results.
"My sense is this was a product of the times in which there has been a real build-up of fear mongering and the overt pressure of armed men. There is nothing quite like a gun in your face."
West Rejects Crimean Vote
The United States and the European Union have described the referendum in Crimea as illegal and in violation of Ukraine's constitution. US and EU officials reacted quickly. They ordered travel bans and financial restrictions on 28 Russian officials and four Ukrainians. US officials have described those targeted as President Putin's "cronies."
Matthew Rojansky says that, for over a year, Mr. Putin urged top Russian officials to sell their international holdings and bring their wealth back to Russia.
"Anybody who has complied with him is sitting pretty and doesn't have to worry about the international sanctions, and anyone who didn't - well, it's their problem; he can cut them loose."
Sanctions Not Strong Enough
He also believes the current sanctions are not strong enough.
"I don't think Putin believes us. I don't think he thinks we actually have the guts to impose really biting sanctions on, for example, the energy sector. I think he just distrusts our resolve because we haven't made it clear that we are willing to pay the pain on our side."
Robert Legvold of Columbia University believes stronger sanctions could hurt the world economy.
"Every step that escalates the penalty or the punishment also escalates the cost to those inflicting them, imposing the sanctions."
On Thursday, President Obama announced additional sanctions on Russian individuals and one bank. Russia reacted to the announcement by ordering entry bans on nine US lawmakers and officials. The following day, Ukraine's acting prime minister signed a political association agreement with the EU.
Observers say it will be very difficult to change what has happened in Crimea. Experts also say it will be interesting to see how far the United States and its Western allies are willing to go to punish Russia for its actions.
And that's In The News from VOA Learning English. I'm Steve Ember.
The library will be officially opened by the local MP.
2.approve vt.& vi.赞成，同意
I told my mother I wanted to leave school but she didn't approve.
The doctor will not permit mother up until her leg is better.
She didn't participate in the discussion.
The evidence against him was overwhelming.
This year's festival attracted a record turnout.
Even a limited confrontation can escalate into a major war.
1.If it was an honest vote and all groups had participated, I would have thought rather than an overwhelming vote, it would have been something like 52 to 53 percent, given the percentage makeup of the groups in Crimea.
We tend to be traditional rather than fashion-forward in our designs.
2.Anybody who has complied with him is sitting pretty and doesn't have to worry about the international sanctions.
They refused to comply with the UN resolution.
乌克兰立法者投票推翻总统亚努科维奇之后，克里米亚当地官员呼吁举行特别选举，决定该地区的未来。投票结果是压倒性的 。97%的选民选择加入俄罗斯 。克里米亚官员宣布，有选举权的80%的选民参加了全民公投 。
俄罗斯总统表示，这次投票彰显了国际社会和民主国家对公平的价值观的追求。但是许多观察员对投票结果提出质疑 。Robert Legvold在纽约市哥伦比亚大学工作 。
Matthew Rojansky在伍德罗·威尔逊国际中心为华盛顿特区的学者开设的一个项目工作。他认为是克里米亚的亲俄罗斯官员操纵了全民公投，因为这样的结果正是他们期望的 。
“我的感觉是这是时间的产物。由于武装分子的出现，人们的恐惧不断增加，压力也不断增加 。没有什么比有人拿枪对着你更让人害怕的了 。”
美国和欧盟称克里米亚全民公投是非法的，触犯了乌克兰宪法。美国和欧盟官员迅速做出反应 。他们对28名俄罗斯官员和4名乌克兰人实施了旅行禁令和财务限制 。美国官员称这些措施的针对目标都是普京总统的密友 。
“我认为普京不相信我们。我认为，他不认为我们真的会对重要的部门实施制裁，例如能源部门 。我认为，他不相信我们的决心，因为我们没有明确表达付出代价的意愿 。”
周四，奥巴马总统宣布对俄罗斯个人和一家银行增加制裁措施。俄罗斯对此作出回应，禁止9名美国立法者和官员入境 。随后一天，乌克兰副总理与欧盟签署了政治联合协议 。
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