Crimea on Verge of Seceding to Russia

Obama warns Putin in an hour-long phone call that the pleas from Ukraine cannot be ignored.
3:00 | 03/07/14

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Transcript for Crimea on Verge of Seceding to Russia
crisis in Ukraine caught in the tense standoff and the latest on that tense phone call just hours ago between president Obama and president Putin. ABC's Alex Marquardt is in kiev with the latest. Good morning, Alex. Reporter: Good morning, robin. This was their second lengthy phone call in just the past week. About what the U.S. Calls Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The two leaders seemed to be talking right past each other agreeing on nothing as crimea looks set to try to join Russia. Overnight, celebrations in crimea after parliament voted to break away to Russia. They vote to be with Russia, to be with Moscow. Reporter: Earlier the few who dared protest brutally dragged away. This morning, Russia and the U.S. Are digging in ratcheting up their positions over Ukraine's crimean peninsula, its takeover by Russia now all but complete. President Obama has slapped Russian officials with travel bans and has ordered economic sanctions if Russia goes any farther. But crimea will now hold a referendum next weekend to decide whether to join Russia, a move the U.S. Calls illegal. Any discussion about the future of Ukraine must include the legitimate government of Ukraine. Reporter: President Obama has asked president Putin to allow international monitors into crimea blocked yesterday by pro-russian forces. On that hour-long phone call, Putin told Obama that Russia cannot ignore calls for help as Ukraine's new government imposes what Putin called entirely illegitimate decisions on to crimea. We've seen the heavily armed forces believed to be Russian blanketing crimea controlling the borders and laying siege to Ukrainian military bases. While Russia's Navy harasses Ukrainian warships. That Russian grip on crimea only tightening as fears grow that Ukraine is coming apart. Pro-russia unrest is spreading throughout Ukraine as they prepare their biggest air defense drill near the border with Ukraine and the U.S. Sends more fighter jets to its allies in eastern Europe, all signs this crisis is growing. George. Certainly rising. Thanks. More on this from ABC's chief white house correspondent Jonathan Karl. We heard from Alex the two presidents talking past each other on that phone call. Any movement behind the scenes? Reporter: None at all, George. You know, this is an hour-long phone call. Their second in the week and they have resolved absolutely nothing. You heard from the president saying Russia must withdraw its forces back to its barracks, must begin talks immediately with Ukraine. With Putin saying that Russia has absolutely no choice but to be there to protect ethnic rugs from an unconstitutional coup. Only thing they agreed on, not ig significant, they will continue to talk.

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