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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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Merkel: Russian actions could lead to a catastrophe

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stepped up her criticism of Russia, saying the country has "exploited Ukraine's weakness instead of acting as a partner for stability."

Speaking in the German parliament, the Chancellor warned that if Russia continues its path, it would be "a catastrophe not just for Ukraine and the EU, but also for Russia."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Credit: Oli Scarff/PA Wire

She said that EU leaders are ready to "take further action" if Russia continues to destabilise the situation.

"The territorial integrity of Ukraine cannot be called into question," she said.

Mrs Merkel said the situation in Ukraine's southern region of Crimea was not comparable to the case of Kosovo in the Balkans.

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