The speaker of Crimea's regional assembly said Moscow was likely to respond swiftly to Sunday's referendum on the southern Ukrainian region joining Russia.

With more than half the votes counted, the head of the referendum commission said more than 95 percent of ballots had been cast in favor of union with the Russian Federation, which is widely expected to accept Crimea.

"I think that (Russia) will answer quickly, because you see what is happening to people, it is an important event, it is not only a Crimean event, it is a Russian and a global event," Vladimir Konstantinov told Rossiya 24 news channel. .

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger