Donetsk referendum 'contrived and bogus' says Kerry

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Donetsk referendum 'contrived and bogus' says Kerry

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US Secretary of State John Kerry and Catherine Ashton, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy, have held wide ranging discussions over the situation in Ukraine.

There was talk of more sanctions if Russia tries to derail the presidential election and an emphatic response to the proposed referendum in the east of the country.

“We are also very concerned about the efforts of pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk to organise a frankly contrived and bogus independence referendum on May 11. We flatly reject this illegal effort to further divide Ukraine,” said US Secretary of State John Kerry.

There was criticism for Russia and what is seen as its failure to fulfill its obligations within the Geneva accord but praise for Kyiv.

“Ukraine has the right to defend its territorial integrity. We understand the international obligations that it has and we work closely with them and as you have indicated they have done a lot from the beginning of leaving Geneva at the end of that day to try and implement what was agreed,” said EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

In Donetsk on Tuesday over three million ballot papers were printed in advance of the referendum on Sunday. Voters will be asked one question – if they support the independence of the People’s Republic of Donetsk with the choice to answer yes or no.