Putin signs Crimea bill


Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed a law to absorb Crimea into Russia, calling it a "remarkable event," according to reports

The resolution was previously approved by both Houses of Russia's Parliament.

Crimea, which has been occupied by Russian forces, overwhelmingly approved a referendum over the weekend to gain independence from Ukraine and join Russia. The United States and other allies have not recognized the vote and said it was a violation of the Ukrainian constitution. 

In remarks before the signing, Putin said he did not see the immediate need for further retaliation against the United States after the country issued sanctions against nine U.S. officials and lawmakers the day before, according to The Associated Press.

Putin also said he would open an account with Bank Rossiya, the financial institution the U.S. targeted for sanctions on Thursday. Reports described his tone as sarcastic. 

President Obama announced a new round of sanctions Thursday against Russian officials and those who provided material support, and Russia came out with its own sanctions list shortly after. 

Those Russian sanctions targeted House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), along with four other senators. Three members of Obama's administration were also on the list. 

All the U.S. lawmakers on the sanctions list largely dismissed them Thursday, and expressed pride for being included. 

“The Speaker is proud to be included on a list of those willing to stand against Putin’s aggression," said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel.

On Thursday, the Obama administration announced sanctions on nearly 20 more individuals as well as the bank that serves many top Russia officials. Obama also signed an executive order that would allow him to target sectors of the Russian economy.