France's Hollande tells Putin to stop Crimea joining Russia

by Reuters
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 14:56 GMT

PARIS, March 12 (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that he had to do everything to stop Ukraine's Crimea region from joining Russia, something that would be an "unacceptable annexation."

"The president reminded (him) that the March 16 referendum, for which preparations are ongoing in an opaque way, has no legal basis," Hollande's office said in a statement after the two men spoke earlier in the day.

"The president underlined that there was still time to avoid a pointless and dangerous escalation." (Reporting By John Irish; editing by Brian Love)

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