OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Canada's prime minister says Canada would not recognize Crimea's forthcoming referendum on whether to join Russia.

Lawmakers in Crimea voted unanimously Thursday to split from Ukraine and join Russia instead, and scheduled a referendum for March 16 to allow voters on the disputed peninsula to weigh in on the decision.

Harper says the results of such a referendum would be illegitimate and Canada will not recognize a referendum held in a region currently under illegal military occupation.

President Barack Obama says Crimea's referendum would violate Ukraine's constitution and international law.

Canada, home to more than 1 million people of Ukrainian descent, is sending two observers to join an unarmed military mission in Ukraine.