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G7 calls on Russia to halt efforts to change Crimea's status

Italy and partners urge Russia to cease breaking law

12 March, 14:28
G7 calls on Russia to halt efforts to change Crimea's status (ANSA) - New York, March 12 - The Group of Seven advanced economies, the European Council and European Commission on Wednesday called on Russia to halt all efforts to change Crimea's status and annex the Ukrainian region in a statement released from the White House.

The statement from the seven nations - Italy, the US, Canada, Japan, Britain, France and Germany - urged Russia "to cease all efforts to change the status of Crimea contrary to Ukrainian law and in violation of international law".

It also said that a referendum scheduled over the weekend would have "no legal effect" and that further action will be taken if Russia attempts to annex Crimea.

Pro-Russian leaders in Crimea, which has a large Russian-speaking population, have organized a referendum on Sunday on whether Crimea should join Russia.

Moscow's troops are in control of the Black Sea peninsula and the seizure has so far been bloodless.

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