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Published: Sunday March 16, 2014 MYT 3:35:09 PM
Updated: Sunday March 16, 2014 MYT 3:36:02 PM

Lavrov tells Kerry Russia sees Crimean referendum as legitimate - ministry

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a phone call on Saturday that the referendum in Crimea complied with international law, according to a statement issued on Sunday.

The call, which the Russian Foreign Ministry said was an extension of the talks Lavrov held with Kerry on Friday in London, was initiated by the U.S. side.

"Sergei Viktorovich Lavrov reiterated that the Crimean referendum fully complies with international law and the United Nations Charter and the results should be the starting point in determining the future of the peninsula," the ministry said in a statement.

"The minister also drew attention to the need for the current Kiev authorities to curb the rampant violence by ultra-nationalist and radical groups terrorising the dissident, Russian-speaking population, our compatriots."

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Alison Williams)

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