Draft UN resolution declares Crimea referendum invalid
A draft UN Security Council resolution declares that Sunday's planned referendum on Crimea's status "can have no validity" and urges nations and international organizations not to recognize it, according to a copy obtained by Reuters.
The draft resolution, drawn up by the United States, is due to be voted on Saturday, and is almost certain to be vetoed by Russia. Moscow, which has sent military forces to the Crimea, is backing the referendum, which would transfer control of the region from Ukraine to Russia.
The brief resolution notes that the referendum was not backed by the Ukrainian government in Kiev.
"This referendum can have no validity, and cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of Crimea," it states. It calls on "all States, international organizations and specialized agencies not to recognize any alteration of the status of Crimea on the basis of this referendum."
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov was quoted as saying that the resolution is "unacceptable."
"The main thing is that this draft resolution contains a call to reject the results of the referendum in Crimea. For this reason, naturally, such a resolution is unacceptable for us," Russia's Interfax news agency quoted Gatilov as saying.
The European Union and United States are expected on Monday to impose sanctions on Russian military and political figures for their actions in Ukraine