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U.S. rejects Crimea vote, cites Russian intimidation

Published: Sunday, March 16, 2014 1:36 p.m. CDT • Updated: Sunday, March 16, 2014 1:37 p.m. CDT
(Vadim Ghirda)
An Ukrainian policeman exits a voting booth after casting his vote in Perevalne, Ukraine, Sunday, March 16, 2014. Residents of Ukraine's Crimea region are voting in a contentious referendum on whether to split off and seek annexation by Russia. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

WASHINGTON – The U.S. is rejecting the vote in Crimea even before the results are released.

The White House says Sunday's referendum on secession is contrary to Ukraine's constitution.

The U.S. says the world won't recognize the results of a vote held under what it says are "threats of violence and intimidation from a Russian military intervention that violates international law."

A written statement from the White House calls Russia's actions in Ukraine "dangerous and destabilizing."

The U.S. is urging other nations to "take concrete steps to impose costs" against Russia.

Secession was expected to be approved overwhelmingly.

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