• U.S. reiterates not to recognize referendum results in eastern Ukraine states

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    WASHINGTON: The United States reiterated on Monday that it does not recognize the referendums held in eastern Ukraine states of Donetsk and Lugansk over the weakened in favor of independence.

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    “We do not recognize the illegal referendum that took place in portions of Donetsk and Lugansk over the weekend,” State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki told reporters at a daily news briefing.

    “It was illegal under Ukrainian law, and an attempt to create further division and disorder in the country,” she said, repeating a position she made clear Sunday.

    Election bodies in Donetsk and Lugansk, where self-proclaimed ” people’s republics” were established in early April, announced that 89.07 percent and 96 percent of voters had voted for independence from Ukraine, with a turnout of 74.87 percent and 75 percent, respectively. Moscow has called for the votes to be recognized.

    The plebiscites came after Crimea joined Russia on March 18 following an independence vote on the southern Ukraine peninsula that has not recognized by Kiev and the West. PNA

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