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International observers arrive in Crimea ahead of vote

International observers invited by Russia and Crimean authorities have arrived in Simferopol ahead of Sunday's referendum.

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NATO chief condemns 'illegitimate' Crimea referendum

NATO's Secretary-General has condemned the planned referendum in Ukrainian's Crimea region, saying it would break international law and have no "political legitimacy".

The statement was issued after a meeting of ambassadors from 50 nations, including Russia and Ukraine, ahead of Sunday's vote in Crimea.

The so-called referendum in the Ukrainian Autonomous Republic of Crimea planned on 16 March would be a direct violation of the Ukrainian constitution and international law.

If held, it would have no legal effect or political legitimacy.

Holding this referendum would undermine international efforts to find a peaceful and political solution to the crisis in Ukraine.

– NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

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