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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US: 'Serious series of steps' if Crimea vote goes ahead

The US and the European Union will respond with a "serious series of steps" against Russia if a referendum in Ukraine's Crimea region goes ahead on Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry warned.

John Kerry speaks during a hearing held by the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programmes. Credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Kerry told a congressional hearing he hoped to avoid such steps, which include sanctions, through discussions with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in London tomorrow.

He said, "If there is no sign of any capacity to be able to move forward and resolve this issue there will be a very serious series of steps in Europe and here with respect to the options that are available to us."

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