France condemns Russian Crimea treaty, says Europe needs strong response

by Reuters
Tuesday, 18 March 2014 14:03 GMT

PARIS, March 18 (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday condemned the decision by Russian President Vladimir Putin to sign a treaty integrating Crimea into Russia, saying Europe needs to provide a "strong" response.

"I condemn this decision. France does not recognise either the results of the referendum ... or the attachment of this Ukrainian region to Russia," Hollande said in a statement.

"The next European Council meeting on March 20-21 must provide the opportunity for a strong and coordinated European response to the hurdle that has just been jumped."

He did not elaborate on what that response could be. (Reporting by John Irish; Editing by James Regan)

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