Exit poll shows 93 pct of voters in Crimea back union with Russia - state media

by Reuters
Sunday, 16 March 2014 18:56 GMT

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MOSCOW, March 16 (Reuters) - Ninety-three percent of voters in Ukraine's Crimea region supported union with Russia in a referendum on Sunday, Russian state media quoted an exit poll as saying.

The European Union and the United States say they will not recognise the results of the referendum, hastily called by the region's pro-Russian parliament after Russian forces seized control of the Black Sea peninsula.

Rossiya-24 television and RIA news agency quoted an exit poll by the Crimean Institute of Political and Social Research as saying the vote was overwhelmingly in favour of union with the Russian Federation.

Russian news agencies put the voter turnout at more than 80 percent, although Crimean Tatars had said they would not vote. They make up about 12 percent of the population.

The head of the referendum commission, Mikhail Malyshev, told a news conference in Crimea after voting ended that no complaints had been filed about voting procedures or suggesting foul play.

"Currently, district commissions have begun to count the results of the referendum," Malyshev said, declaring the referendum valid.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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