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US slams Putin's visit to Crimea as provocative and unnecessary

Published on May 10, 2014 3:00 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States Friday denounced a trip by Russian President Vladimir Putin to annexed Crimea as "provocative" and warned it will only exacerbate tensions in Ukraine.

"We do not accept Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea. Such a visit will only serve to fuel tensions," National Security Council spokesman Laura Magnuson said.

Putin made a surprise visit to the Crimean port of Sebastopol to inspect Russian naval forces as part of celebrations to mark the World War II Soviet victory over the Nazis.

But State Department spokesman Jen Psaki described the visit as "provocative and unnecessary."

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