The G-7 countries issued a joint statement this morning warning Russia to back off in Crimea. In the statement they say, in no uncertain terms, that they will not recognize Crimea returning to Russian control if the proposed referendum passes. Their statement makes it clear that, with Russian soldiers patroling the streets in Crimea, if the referendum passes, it will have essentially happened at gunpoint.
It’s worth noting that Vienna, Austria is only 1,100 miles, less than a 24-hour drive, from Crimea. Europeans have to be freaking out about this.
Here’s the full joint statement:
We, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, call on the Russian Federation to cease all efforts to change the status of Crimea contrary to Ukrainian law and in violation of international law.