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Germany says Crimea vote result will be 'irrelevant'

Published on Mar 14, 2014 8:01 PM

BERLIN (AFP) - Germany said on Friday that the result of a looming referendum in the Ukrainian region of Crimea, which the West fears will lead to its annexation by Russia, will be "irrelevant".

A Foreign Ministry spokesman also said the plebiscite "can be interpreted as a speeding up of the escalation of the situation".

"The result is irrelevant," he told reporters, two days before the vote in the Russian-speaking region. He pointed to the short timescale in the organisation of the vote and the limitations posed by the two questions being asked inhabitants. "There is no option in this so-called referendum for people to say they are happy with the status quo," spokesman Martin Schaefer said.

Voters will be presented with two choices - either joining Russia or "the significant strengthening of their autonomy within Ukraine".

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