Washington - US President Barack Obama says a proposed referendum scheduled for next week in Crimea would violate the Ukrainian constitution and violate international law.
"Any discussion about the future of Ukraine must include the legitimate government of Ukraine," Obama said. "In 2014, we are well beyond the days when borders can be redrawn over the heads of democratic leaders."
In Rome, Secretary of State John Kerry echoed Obama's remarks.
"Crimea is part of Ukraine. Crimea is Ukraine ... the government of Ukraine needs to be involved in any kind of decision with respect to any part of Ukraine," he said.
Kerry said that under the Ukrainian constitution "all Ukrainians would have to be part of a referendum with respect to the territory of Ukraine."