Britain on Sunday slammed a vote in Crimea on breaking away from Ukraine as a “mockery” of democracy and refused to recognise the referendum’s outcome.
Speaking in Brussels ahead of a meeting of European Union foreign ministers on Monday, Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned the vote as being in breach of the Ukrainian constitution.
“Nothing in the way that the referendum has been conducted should convince anyone that it is a legitimate exercise,” he said in a Foreign Office statement.
“It is a mockery of proper democratic practice.”
A spokesman from Prime Minister David Cameron’s Downing Street Office later said Britain did not “recognise the Crimea referendum or its outcome.”
“We call on Russia to enter dialogue with Ukraine and resolve this crisis within international law,” he added.
Hague called on his EU colleagues to push for measures “that send a strong signal to Russia that this challenge to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine will bring economic and political consequences”.
Crimea’s pro-Moscow authorities announced that exit polls showed a 95 percent vote in favour of becoming part of Russia.