WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States Sunday strongly rejected a vote in Crimea on breaking away from Ukraine, and called Russian actions in the crisis “dangerous and destabilizing.”
“This referendum is contrary to Ukraine’s constitution, and the international community will not recognize the results of a poll administered under threats of violence and intimidation from a Russian military intervention that violates international law,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
The White House statement came as Crimea’s pro-Moscow authorities announced that exit polls showed a 93 percent vote in favor of becoming part of Russia.
“The United States has steadfastly supported the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine since it declared its independence in 1991, and we reject the ‘referendum’ that took place today in the Crimean region of Ukraine,” Carney said.
Carney said Russia had spurned outreach to Ukraine and calls for international monitoring, instead escalating its military intervention into Crimea and initiating military exercises on Ukraine’s eastern border.
“Russia’s actions are dangerous and destabilizing,” the White House spokesman said.
“As the United States and our allies have made clear, military intervention and violation of international law will bring increasing costs for Russia — not only due to measures imposed by the United States and our allies but also as a direct result of Russia’s own destabilizing actions,” he said.