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Crimea to Adopt Moscow Time at End of March

Crimea's parliament has announced that the region will move its clocks forward by two hours on March 30, bringing it into line with Moscow.

As is the case with the rest of Ukraine, Crimea is two hours behind Moscow time in winter and one hour behind in summer.

The parliament's speaker, Volodymyr Konstantinov, said earlier that the change would be implemented if the Ukrainian region's people voted in favor of becoming part of Russia and said that a working group would be set up to gauge local resident's opinions on the subject.

The peninsula was part of Russia before Khrushchev handed it over to Ukraine in 1954, and it kept the same time as Moscow as recently as the first half of the 1990s.

More than 80 percent of Crimea's electorate turned out on Sunday to take part in a referendum to decide whether they want the region to become part of Russia. In the end, 96.77 percent voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, though the West and the interim government in Ukraine have refused to recognize the result.

On Monday, Crimea's parliament declared the region independent and requested that it be integrated into Russia.

President Vladimir Putin will make an announcement about Crimea's request in front of the Federal Assembly on Tuesday, the Kremlin's press office said.

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