Home > News > World
Wednesday March 12, 2014 MYT 3:55:02 AM
Wednesday March 12, 2014 MYT 3:55:58 AM
VIENNA (Reuters) - Crimea's planned March 16 referendum on joining Russia is illegal in its current form and the OSCE will not send a mission to observe it, the Swiss head of Europe's security and democracy watchdog said on Monday.
Russia's RIA news agency said on Monday that Ukraine's Crimea region had invited the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to send a mission to observe Sunday's plebiscite. It said the invitation had been issued to the Vienna-based security and human rights organisation by the region's pro-Russian parliament.
"In its current form the referendum ... is in contradiction with the Ukrainian constitution and must be considered illegal," Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter, whose country is the current chair of the Vienna-based OSCE, said in a statement.
"For any referendum regarding the degree of autonomy or sovereignty of the Crimea to be legitimate, it would need to be based on the Ukrainian constitution and would have to be in line with international law."
He also "ruled out the possibility of an OSCE observation of the planned referendum...as the basic criteria for a decision in a constitutional framework were not met," the statement added.
An OSCE spokeswoman said earlier that Crimea could not invite referendum observers as the region was not a full-fledged state and therefore not a member of the 57-member organisation.
For the past week, OSCE military observers have been unable to enter Crimea, which has come under control of Russian forces since the fall of pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich to months of popular unrest.
(Reporting by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
Iran calls Obama's 10-year nuclear demand 'unacceptable'
Obama, European leaders discuss Ukraine, global security
Israel's Netanyahu draws rebuke from Obama over Iran speech to Congress
Three dead as Kiev accuses Ukraine rebels of shelling
Malaysians abroad share how they celebrate our local festivals
8 Incredible food and wine adventures you can do in Australia!
Disenchanted by farm stay and B&B experience in New Zealand
Lunar New Year a time of celebration and enterprise for small businesses
UEFA to sell 46,000 Champions League final tickets to public
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)