William Hague has said Russia has "lost control" of the situation in Ukraine, where deadly clashes have seen dozens killed in the last week.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, the Foreign Secretary said:
“President Putin seems to have unleashed forces that he cannot control. Armed thugs with modern weapons are stirring old tensions and stoking new hatreds. The deaths in Mariupol, Slavyansk and Odessa are a stark warning that this plan is spiralling out of control.”
Mr Hague also claimed Russia's conduct towards Ukraine was more evidence of "bullying" behaviour towards its neighbouring countries.
"There is a pattern of how the Russians behave towards their neighbours, and it needs to be stopped," he said.
European Union foreign ministers added 13 people to their visa ban and asset freeze list over Ukraine's crisis.
Well that’s the voting over, and no surprises so far. A ‘Yes’ vote claimed to be 89% in Donetsk, and suddenly Ukraine is no more.
Nearly 90 percent of voters in eastern Ukrainian region voted for self-rule, the head of the separatist election commission said.