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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Meshkov: Unity Agreed

Crimean President Yury Meshkov said Wednesday that Russia had agreed to bring the Ukrainian peninsula into its economic fold, but officials in Kiev blasted him for speaking out of turn.

"We have reached what we have been working toward for several years, the economic unity of Russia and Crimea," Meshkov told a news conference on return from a trip to Moscow.

Ukraine's economy is collapsing and many of Crimea's 2.7 million people, 70 percent of them ethnic Russians, want to strengthen ties with Moscow. Meshkov was elected president in January on calls for reunification with Russia.