Obama: Crimea Separation Would Violate Law

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President Barack Obama declared on Thursday that a referendum in 10 days on the future of a Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula would violate international law, and the United States moved to impose visa restrictions and financial sanctions on Russians and Ukrainians for the moves Moscow already has made into Crimea.

Speaking from the White House, Obama said any decisions on the future of Crimea, a pro-Russian area of Ukraine, must include the country’s new government.

“The proposed referendum on the future of Crimea would violate the constitution and violate international law,” Obama said, hours after government officials in Crimea set a March 16 date for a referendum on whether the region should become part of Russia.

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