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Kyrgyzstan Says Crimea Referendum 'Legitimate'

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) with Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambaev at a summit in September
The government of Kyrgyzstan says it recognizes Crimea's controversial referendum and decision to join the Russian Federation as legitimate.

The Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website on March 20 that "the results of the referendum in the Crimea from March 16 represent the will of absolute majority of the population of the autonomous republic."

The statement also says that "unconsidered actions and corruption of former Ukrainian authorities led to the current crisis" over Russia's annexation of the peninsula.

The West calls Russia's annexation of Crimea illegal and has condemned it as the biggest European security threat since the Cold War.
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