Crimea referendum "worrying and serious"Listen /
The decision by the authorities in Crimea to hold a referendum on becoming part of the Russian Federation has been described by the UN Secretary-General as "worrying and serious".
Lawmakers in the Ukrainian autonomous region of Crimea voted on Thursday to join Russia and to hold a referendum on 16 March to validate the decision.
The move comes amid rising tensions in the region where Russia has recently deployed troops and armoured vehicles.
Martin Nesirky is the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.
“The recent announcement by the authorities in Crimea that they intend to hold a referendum is a worrying and serious development. In this regard, the Secretary-General would urge the authorities in Ukraine, including in Crimea to treat this matter with calm. Furthermore, the Secretary-General believes all concerned should think about the implications of any hasty actions or the decisions taken at the heat of the moment. He cannot emphasise enough the need for peace and the stability.”
The referendum comes against the backdrop of protests and violence that have beset Ukraine since last November.
Protestors have taken to the streets calling for stronger links with the European Union.
Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.