PARIS, March 18 French President Francois
Hollande on Tuesday condemned the decision by Russian President
Vladimir Putin to sign a treaty integrating Crimea into Russia,
saying Europe needs to provide a "strong" response.
"I condemn this decision. France does not recognise either
the results of the referendum ... or the attachment of this
Ukrainian region to Russia," Hollande said in a statement.
"The next European Council meeting on March 20-21 must
provide the opportunity for a strong and coordinated European
response to the hurdle that has just been jumped."
He did not elaborate on what that response could be.
(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by James Regan)