Russia has signed a treaty with Crimean leaders confirming it will annex the Ukrainian peninsular of Crimea.

The treaty was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Crimean leaders’ on Tuesday 18th March. Shortly after the signing, a Ukrainian serviceman was killed in an attack on a base in Crimea, Kiev has claimed. According to The defence ministry the attack took place in Crimea’s capital, Simferopol.

In response to the treaty, the US called an emergency G7-EU crisis meeting in The Hague next week whilst the new Ukrainian government in the country’s capital Kiev said it would not accept the treaty. “We do not recognise and never will recognise the so-called independence or the so-called agreement on Crimea joining the Russian Federation” said Ukraine’s Foreign Minister.

The treaty comes after a referendum held in Crimea on Sunday 15th March, deciding if Crimea should become part of Russia. Crimean officials say that 97% of voters supported splitting from Ukraine although the referendum was declared illegal by many in the west, including the UK and the USA.

Since the referendum both the EU and the US have imposed sanctions on Russian and Ukrainian individuals. These individuals include the Prime Minister of Crimea whose election, in the presence of a Russian gunman, was declared unconstitutional by the EU. The sanctions involve banning travel and freezing assets for people who played a key part in Crimea’s referendum. US President Barack Obama said that unless Russia de-escalated the situation they would be “ready to impose further sanctions”.

Despite the sanctions, Russia has shown no signs of ceasing its activity in Crimea. Russian gunmen have been installed in Crimea since February. After the signing, Putin told crowds in Moscow’s Red Square that “Crimea and Sevastopol are returning to… their home shores, to their home port, to Russia!” In a televised address, Putin said “In the hearts and minds of people, Crimea has always been and remains an inseparable part of Russia” and that “The people of Crimea clearly and convincingly expressed their will – they want to be with Russia”. He also claimed that Crimea’s removal whilst under Soviet control from Russia to Ukraine was a “historical injustice”.