Prime Minister Stephen Harper remains vocal on the issue of the Crimean referendum, calling Sunday’s results “illegitimate.”
“The so-called referendum held today was conducted with Crimea under illegal military occupation. Its results are a reflection of nothing more than Russian military control.”
According to Crimean officials, more than 95 percent of voters supported annexation (when only 50 percent of votes had been counted). Final results are likely to emerge today.
Despite Putin’s insistence that the referendum had taken place in “full accordance with international law and the UN charter,” Harper and other Western leaders refuse to recognize the results.
“This ‘referendum’ is illegitimate, it has no legal effect, and we do not recognize its outcome. As a result of Russia’s refusal to seek a path of de-escalation, we are working with our G-7 partners and other allies to coordinate additional sanctions against those responsible.”
The vice president for Russian and East European studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Andrew Weiss, says, “the West, I think, is struggling to come [up] with an adequate response.”
Harper is set to arrive in Kiev, Ukraine, on March 22.