Georgia does not recognize Crimea vote

  • Pro-Moscow crowds celebrated after voting in the Crimean capital Simferopol. Photo by Reuters, 17 Mar 2014 - 00:21, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia does not recognize the referendum held in Crimea on March 16, 2014.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry (MFA) said the referendum had been conducted in Crimea amid pressure from Russian Armed Forces, in defiance of the universally recognized norms and principles of International Law, with complete disregard for the Ukrainian national laws.

"Russia's attempt to annex Crimea represents a blatant violation of the commitments it has undertaken both under multilateral and bilateral agreements,” read the MFA statement released last night regarding the Crimea referendum.

"The Georgian Foreign Ministry unequivocally reaffirms its support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and calls upon the international community to consolidate efforts to make the Russian Federation order its troops back to base, to immediately de-escalate the situation in Crimea as well as in other regions of Ukraine, to enter into direct talks with the Ukrainian Authorities and to co-operate with the international community in order to find ways to deal with the existing situation.”

Exit polls suggested about 93% of Crimean voters backed joining Russia and separate from Ukraine, the BBC reported.

Crowds of pro-Moscow voters celebrated in Crimea’s main city of Simferopol, and Crimea's pro-Russia leader said he would apply to join Russia on Monday.

But many Crimeans loyal to Kiev boycotted the referendum and the European Union and United States condemned it as illegal.

Pro-Russian forces took control of Crimea in February after Ukraine's pro-Moscow president was overthrown.