March 17 - Pro-Russian Crimeans celebrate vote to break away from Ukraine in a controversial vote that brings international sanctions against Russia a step closer. Paul Chapman reports
Pro-Russian Crimeans celebrate the outcome of a referendum showing a large majority in support of leaving Ukraine to join Russia. Internationally it's created a controversy which has brought threatened sanctions against Moscow a step closer. The European Union views the referendum as illegal. EU foreign ministers meeting on Sunday said sanctions were being finalised. (SOUNDBITE)(English) DUTCH FOREIGN MINISTER FRANS TIMMERMANS SAYING: "I would do anything possible to avoid sanctions because I believe everybody would suffer if we get into sanctions but the only ones who can prevent this are the Russians." (SOUNDBITE)(English) CZECH FOREIGN MINISTER LUBOMIR ZAORALEK SAYING: "I am very concerned about it that in the last days from the side of Russia there was no willingness to return to diplomatic, to the table and use diplomatic means for solution." A statement on the White House web site delivered a stark condemnation of Russia's military intervention in Ukraine. It warned Russia would pay a price in the form of sanctions and increased instability. In Russia a prominent TV host appeared to suggest a nuclear strike on the U.S. may be an option. Dmitry Kiselyov's show, News of the Week, is closely watched for clues to Kremlin policy and signs of how the government wants Russians to perceive events.