MOSCOW, March 7 (Reuters) - Crimea's parliament has the right to hold a referendum on the region's future status, the speaker of Russia's upper house of parliament said on Friday.
The parliament in Ukraine's southern Crimea region said on Thursday it would hold a referendum on whether the region should join Russia on March 16.
"Yesterday we learned about the historic decision taken by the Crimean parliament to hold a referendum on accession, on entry into the Russian Federation," said Valentina Matviyenko, head of the Russian Federation Council.
"Without a doubt, the Crimean parliament, as a legitimate authority, has that right ... The sovereign right of the people to determine their future."