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Main News of March 6

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Main news - Sputnik International
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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

WORLD

* The parliament of Crimea, a majority ethnic Russian region within Ukraine, decided to secede from the country and become part of Russia, according to a statement on its website

* The White House said that it was imposing visa bans and authorizing other sanctions against officials “who are most directly involved in destabilizing Ukraine”

* EU leaders decided to freeze negotiations with Russia on a visa-free regime and a new cooperation agreement, the European Council president said

* The commander of a US military air transit center in Kyrgyzstan said that the facility has performed its final mission, well ahead of its scheduled closure later this year

RUSSIA

* Russia’s Western Military District has begun large-scale air defense drills at its southern testing range of Kapustin Yar on the backdrop of further escalation of tensions with the West over Ukraine

* A Moscow court reduced jail terms of three people convicted of organizing an acid attack on the Bolshoi ballet troupe’s artistic director

SPORTS

* Ukraine remains undecided over whether to boycott the Sochi Paralympics less than 48 hours before the Games begin, International Paralympic Committee spokesman Craig Spence said

* The Russian flag was ceremonially raised at the mountain village for the Sochi Paralympics with President Vladimir Putin in attendance

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