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Russia criticizes U.N. resolution condemning Crimea's secession

A tank, believed to be Russian, drives outside a military base in Perevalnoye, near the Crimean city of Simferopol, March 27, 2014. REUTERS/
A tank, believed to be Russian, drives outside a military base in Perevalnoye, near the Crimean city of Simferopol, March 27, 2014. REUTERS/

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Friday a U.N. resolution declaring invalid Crimea's Moscow-backed referendum on seceding from Ukraine was counterproductive and accused Western states of using blackmail and threats to drum up "yes" votes.

The non-binding resolution passed with 100 votes in favor, 11 against and 58 abstentions in the 193-nation U.N. General Assembly on Thursday, in a vote that Western nations said highlighted Russia's isolation.

"This counterproductive initiative only complicates efforts to resolve the domestic political crisis in Ukraine," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

It accused Western states of using the "the full force of the unspent potential of the Cold War-era propaganda machine" to whip up support for the resolution.

"It is well-known what kind of shameless pressure, up to the point of political blackmail and economic threats, was brought to bear on a number of (U.N.) member states so they would vote 'yes'," the ministry said.

Several Western diplomats, however, have said Russia's U.N. envoy led an aggressive lobbying campaign against the resolution in what they said showed how seriously Moscow took the U.N. vote condemning a referendum that led to its annexation of Crimea.

(Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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