PRESS DIGEST- British Business - Dec 5
Dec 5 The following are the top stories on the business pages of British newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
MOSCOW, March 14 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.
The pro-Russian politicians who took control of Crimea after the ouster of Ukraine's president late last month have expressed confidence that a large majority of people in the region would vote to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.
Ban told reporters at the United Nations that he and Putin had "discussed the need to work towards a durable and fair political solution" in Ukraine, and that they had agreed to stay in touch.
"The situation and emotions have been hardened over the forthcoming referendum in Crimea," Ban said.
"What I am concerned (about) is that there should be no such hasty measures and decisions which may impact the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine. That has been my consistent message in accordance with the charter provisions."
NEW YORK, Dec 4 U.S. Treasury futures prices rose on Sunday after Italian voters were seen rejecting a change to the country's constitution, which was designed to hasten the legislative process.
ROME, Dec 5 Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi vowed to resign after suffering a crushing defeat on Sunday in a referendum on constitutional reform, tipping the euzo zone's third-largest economy into political turmoil.