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Referendum 'no different to Scotland', Crimea minister says

Crimea's new information minister has told ITV News that the planned referendum on Sunday is no different to the situation in Scotland and Catalonia.

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Crimean referendum 'legitimate', Putin tells Merkel

Vladimir Putin has told Angela Merkel an upcoming referendum in Crimea is in accordance with international law.

In a phone call between the two leaders, Putin said the actions of the Crimean parliament were aimed at protecting the legitimate interests of the population in the peninsula.

A statement from the Kremlin added that, while Putin and Merkel differed in their view on the situation in Ukraine, they were agreed that a de-escalation of tensions should be achieved as soon as possible.

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