Germany sees Russia "isolated" over Crimea referendum

by Reuters
Monday, 17 March 2014 11:16 GMT

BERLIN, March 17 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel believes Russia has isolated itself on the world stage by carrying out a referendum in the Ukrainian region of Crimea despite international rejection of the vote as illegal.

"Russia is isolated to a large degree in its recognition of this so-called referendum," Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said, pointing to Saturday's vote at the U.N. Security Council where 13 countries rejected the referendum as invalid, China abstained and Russia stood alone, using its power of veto.

Seibert said Germany urged Russia to refrain from any military activity on Ukrainian territory which was not agreed upon with the transition government in Kiev - though Moscow rejects the current Ukrainian government as illegal. (Reporting by Erik Kirschbaum; Writing by Stephen Brown)