Good morning and welcome to our live page where we will keep you up to date with the latest developments following the Crimean parliament's formal declaration of independence from Ukraine.
It follows Sunday's controversial referendum in which election officials say an overwhelming number of voters in Crimea backed joining Russia.
The EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton says the "so-called referendum" was "illegal under the constitution of Ukraine and under international law".
She says the EU "can't simply sit back and say this situation can be allowed to happen", but that ministers needed to think carefully about what their response should be.
As well as the EU, the US has also criticised the referendum.
The White House described Russia's actions in Crimea as "dangerous and destabilising".
Ukraine's Defence Minister Ihor Tenyukh says Kiev has reached an agreement with Russian troops in Crimea in which they promise to allow the Ukrainians to replenish food supplies at their military bases there, BBC Monitoring reports.
Mr Tenyukh told the UNIAN news agency the agreement runs out on 21 March.
More from Ukraine's Defence Minister Ihor Tenyukh, who told the UNIAN news agency that Russia had deployed 60,000 troops "against Ukraine", including 21,600 troops in Crimea.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert says: "Russia is isolated to a large degree in its recognition of this so-called referendum" pointing to Saturday's vote at the UN Security Council where 13 countries rejected the referendum as invalid and China abstained.
11:32 Steve Collins
emails: I think it's pointless using diplomacy or sanctions against Russia now that the vote has been won. It is terrible to contemplate but the only thing that Putin understands is force as he has used it very effectively in Georgia and now Crimea and it's now time for the West to use the threat of it against him.
Olexiy Solohubenko, editor at BBC Global News
tweets: "#Russia demands #Ukraine gives up #Crimea, changes constitution, becomes federal and Russian to become second state language. Tough talking."
A separatist leader says Crimea has received 295m euros (£246m) in aid from Russia, AFP news agency report.