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Russia Vetos U.N. Measure on Crimea Referendum, China Abstains

The U.N. Security Council has failed to adopt a resolution that would have urged countries not to recognize the results of a Sunday referendum in Ukraine's Crimea region.

Russia, as expected, voted against the measure while China abstained. The 13 other Security Council members voted in favor of the resolution.

China's decision to decline to follow Russia and veto the measure could indicate further isolation for Moscow in its support of the Crimean referendum.

The referendum gives residents of Crimea two choices: join Russia or support a significant strengthening of their autonomy within Ukraine.

Ahead of Saturday's security council vote, Russian Ambassador to the U.N. Vitaly Churkin said it was "no secret" that Moscow would vote against the resolution, which he said ran counter to the principles of international law.

The resolution would have affirmed Ukraine's territorial integrity. The resolution said Sunday's Crimea referendum could "have no validity."

Shortly after the vote, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power said there was "overwhelming opposition" to Russia's "dangerous actions."

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