The leaders of the Group of Seven leading industrialized countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, and the United States), the European Council's President Herman Van Rompuy, and the European Commission's President Jose Manuel Barroso have called on Russia to cease all efforts to change the status of Crimea.
The G7 leaders made the call in a statement published by the European Union's Delegation to Ukraine, Ukrainian News agency reports.
"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. We call on the Russian Federation to immediately halt actions supporting a referendum on the territory of Crimea regarding its status, in direct violation of the Constitution of Ukraine," the statement said.
According to the statement, any such referendum would have no legal effect.
The statement also said that given the lack of adequate preparation and the intimidating presence of Russian troops, it would also be a deeply flawed process that would have no moral force.