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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/19/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Crimea is now part of Russia following referendum, Russian officials say

Russia has told the US that Western sanctions over the Crimea dispute are unacceptable -- and has threatened "consequences." That's according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who issued the threat in a telephone call to US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Russia has told the US that Western sanctions over the Crimea dispute are unacceptable -- and has threatened 'consequences.' That's according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who issued the threat in a telephone call to US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Russia has told the US that Western sanctions over the Crimea dispute are unacceptable -- and has threatened "consequences." That's according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who issued the threat in a telephone call to US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/19/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Ukraine, Crimea, John Kerry, sanctions


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The warning came as Russian and Crimean leaders signed a treaty absorbing the peninsula into the Russian Federation which the West has described as an illegal referendum.

After Lavrov spoke to Kerry, the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement that the "(Crimea) republic residents made their democratic choice in line with the international law and the U.N. charter, which Russia accepts and respects.

"The sanctions introduced by the United States and the European Union are unacceptable and will not remain without consequences" - but did not spell out what those consequences might be.

Kerry later warned that any incursion by Russia into eastern Ukraine would be "as egregious as any step I can think of . I hope we don't get there," he added.

There were reports of an incident at a naval base in Sevastopol. A reporter at the scene said pro-Russian self-defense forces had broken into the building and raised the Russian flag. The Ukrainian navy, in response told the BBC a group of civilians said the base was now on Russian territory and had gone into the building to persuade the Ukrainian troops to leave.

Crimea was now part of Russia, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin told the BBC, saying that the treaty was no already in effect. While the treaty must be approved by Russia's constitutional court and ratified by parliament, there is little doubt MPs will give their full backing at their vote at the end of this week.

Both the U.S. and the European Union imposed sanctions on several officials from Russia and Ukraine. The officials were accused of involvement in Moscow's actions in the Black Sea peninsula.

The White House has vowed that these sanctions will be expanded. U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden accused Russia of a "land grab."

Putin this week said Western sanctions would be viewed as an act of aggression, and that Moscow would retaliate.

Ukraine's military said on Tuesday that an officer had been killed in an attack on a base in the Crimean capital Simferopol. Pro-Kremlin authorities at the same time reported that a member of their own forces had also been killed in the incident.

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