Putin tells U.N. Chief that Crimean vote entirely legal

MOSCOW, March 14 Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:20pm EDT

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MOSCOW, March 14 (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin on Friday rejected Western accusations that a referendum on whether Ukraine's Crimea region should join Russia would be illegal, making clear the vote would go ahead as planned on Sunday.

In a telephone conversation with U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-moon, Putin "underscored that the decision to conduct (the referendum) fully corresponds to the norms of international law and the U.N. Charter", the Kremlin said.