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Putin Tells Merkel, Cameron That Crimea Referendum Legal

© RIA Novosti . Valery Melnikov / Go to the photo bankPutin Tells Merkel, Cameron That Crimea Referendum Legal
Putin Tells Merkel, Cameron That Crimea Referendum Legal - Sputnik International
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Russian President Vladimir Putin said in phone conversations with the German and British leaders on Sunday that Crimea’s decision to secede from Ukraine and join Russia was within the framework of the international law.

MOSCOW, March 9 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said in phone conversations with the German and British leaders on Sunday that Crimea’s decision to secede from Ukraine and join Russia was within the framework of the international law.

The Kremlin press service said in a statement that Putin discussed international efforts to settle the crisis in Ukraine and its breakaway region Crimea with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British PM David Cameron.

“Putin stressed, in particular, that the steps taken by the legitimate government in Crimea are based on the international law and are intended to defend the legitimate interests of Crimean residents,” the statement reads.

The political crisis in the former Soviet republic has led to the current standoff between Russia and the West over the fate of Crimea, an autonomous region with a majority ethnic Russian population.

Crimean authorities have refused to recognize as legitimate the new central government in Kiev, which ousted President Viktor Yanukovych late last month, and on Thursday they announced a decision to become part of Russia.

Ukraine has lost control of Crimea in recent days as thousands of troops without insignia swarmed the area, taking control of administration buildings and taking over military bases. The Kremlin denied they were Russian, saying they were local militias.

 

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