US, G-7 allies won't recognize Crimea election results

US, G-7 allies won't recognize Crimea election results
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Group of Seven leaders on Wednesday said they will not recognize Crimea's election on seceding from the Ukraine if it goes forward on Sunday.

The group also warned Russia they would “take further action, individually and collectively" if Russia annexes Crimea.

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Precise actions were not spelled out in the statement, released by the White House on Wednesday.

The warnings come as Ukraine’s new Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk arrives to Washington on Wednesday to meet with President Obama at the White House.

The G-7 consists of the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom.

The group said any referendum in Crimea that follows Russia's intervention in Ukraine would have no legal effect. 

"Given the lack of adequate preparation and the intimidating presence of Russian troops, it would also be a deeply flawed process which would have no moral force," the statement said. "For all these reasons, we would not recognize the outcome."

Russian troops entered the Crimea two weeks ago after Ukraine's president was overthrown. Crimea is a region in Eastern Ukraine with deep ties to Russia; it was a part of Russia until 1954, when it was given to Ukraine when both countries were part of the Soviet Union.

The Obama administration alleges Russia has violated Ukraine’s sovereignty by invading Crimea, where people will vote on whether to join Russia on Sunday.

The leaders urged Russia to deescalate the conflict in Crimea, and withdraw their troops to levels that were in place before the crisis in Ukraine intensified. 

Russia should also be reminded, the G-7 said, that they’ve suspended participation in activities related to the preparation for the Group of Eight meeting that was scheduled for Sochi, Russia, in June.

Meanwhile, member states in the European Union agreed on Wednesday to the wording of their own sanctions against Russia, Reuters reported.

The EU’s sanctions come about a week after the Obama administration announced U.S. sanctions against Russia. Reuters says the EU’s sanctions include travel restrictions and asset freezes.