US rejects Crimea vote, cites Russian intimidation

US rejects Crimea vote, cites Russian intimidation

Ukrainian soldiers man a check point in the village of Strilkove, Ukraine, Sunday, March 16, 2014. Russia raised the stakes Saturday when its forces, backed by helicopter gunships and armored vehicles, took control of the Ukrainian village of Strilkove and a key natural gas distribution plant nearby— the first Russian military move into Ukraine beyond the Crimean peninsula of 2 million people. The Russian forces later returned the village but kept control of the gas plant. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

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by MATTHEW LEE

AP

Posted on March 16, 2014 at 1:40 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. is rejecting the vote in Crimea even before the results are released.

The White House says Sunday's referendum on secession is contrary to Ukraine's constitution.

The U.S. says the world won't recognize the results of a vote held under what it says are "threats of violence and intimidation from a Russian military intervention that violates international law."

A written statement from the White House calls Russia's actions in Ukraine "dangerous and destabilizing."

The U.S. is urging other nations to "take concrete steps to impose costs" against Russia.

Secession was expected to be approved overwhelmingly.

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