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Putin: referendum in Crimea fully complied with international law norms

He said it in a telephone conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama

MOSCOW, March 17. /ITAR-TASS/. Referendum on the future of Crimea fully that was held Sunday, March 16, fully met international law norms, Vladimir Putin said early morning Monday in a telephone conversation with Barack Obama, the Kremlin press service said.

As Putin spoke about the referendum, he made emphasis on the fact that “its effectuation fully conformed to the norms of international law and the UN Charter and took account of the precedent set by Kosovo, among other things.”

Along with this, people living in Crimea were guaranteed the right of a free expression of will and self-determination, he said.

Both presidents said that, in spite of existing differences of assessments, it is important to look for ways of assisting stabilization in Ukraine.

Putin called Obama’s attention to the inability or unwillingness of the powers that be in Kiev to bridle the outrage of ultranationalist and radical groupings, which are destabilizing the situation and terrorizing peaceful residents, including the Russian-speaking population and our fellow-countrymen.

In this context, they discussed a possibility of sending a monitoring mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) to Ukraine.

Putin said the activity of the mission should embrace all the regions of Ukraine. Obama congratulated Putin on a successful completion of the Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi and asked him to convey greetings to all the athletes who had taken part in them.

The conversation was held at the initiative from the U.S. side.

Late night Sunday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, in the course of which he confirmed Russia’s position on the referendum. Lavrov urged Washington to use the U.S. influence on the incumbent authorities in Kiev to cut short the mass acts of lawlessness against the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine.

Officials at the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said Lavrov and Kerry agreed to continue working contacts on a search for ways for settlement of the crisis in Ukraine through an earliest possible launch of the constitutional reform supported by the international community in a commonly acceptable manner and respect for the interests of all of Ukraine’s regions.