Kerry says U.S., Europe will respond on Monday if Crimea referendum occurs

by Reuters
Thursday, 13 March 2014 15:53 GMT

WASHINGTON, March 13 (Reuters) - The United States and the European Union will respond on Monday with a "serious series of steps" against Russia if a referendum in Ukraine's Crimea region goes ahead on Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday.

Kerry told a congressional hearing he hoped to avoid such steps, which include sanctions, through discussions with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in London on Friday.

"If there is no sign of any capacity to be able to move forward and resolve this issue there will be a very serious series of steps in Europe and here with respect to the options that are available to us," Kerry said in testimony on the State Department's 2015 budget request. (Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Bill Trott)

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