Crimea is Preparing for Referendum
The chief of Crimea's election commission, Myhkailo Malyshev, said Monday he is moving ahead with preparations for next Sunday's referendum on unification with Russia. He said all registered Crimean voters are eligible to vote.
Russian forces have tightened their grip on Crimea, as authorities in the breakaway territory push their plan to join Moscow.
Ukraine's interim prime minister vowed Sunday not to give up "a single centimeter" of territory. Arseniy Yatsenyuk addressed supporters who rallied in Kyiv to celebrate the 200th birthday of Ukrainian poet and national hero Taras Shevchenko.
Mr. Yatsenyuk is to meet Wednesday with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington to discuss the standoff over Crimea, a strategic peninsula in southern Ukraine with a Russian-speaking majority.
A Russian lawmaker said the Kremlin had set aside $1.1 billion to rebuild Crimea's industrial infrastructure if the disputed region votes in a March 16 referendum to join Russia.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call Sunday the planned referendum is illegal and violates Ukraine's constitution.
US Says Oil in Libyan Port Stolen, Warns of Sanctions
The United States is warning of consequences related to any unauthorized sales of oil that militia members have loaded onto a North Korean-flagged tanker in a Libyan port.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement late Sunday that the oil belongs to Libya's national oil company and its partners, which include U.S. companies. She said those who buy stolen oil could face civil action and sanctions.
Libya has banned militias from selling crude oil directly to the world market.
The Libyan navy and pro-government militias sent boats Sunday to prevent the tanker from leaving the port, which is controlled by a rival militia.
Libya's culture minister and government spokesman Habib Al-Amin said every effort is being taken to stop the tanker, and that a military strike is possible if it does not follow government orders.