SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 16: xxxxx inside a polling station in Simferopol on March 16, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Crimeans go to the polls today in a vote that which will decide whether the peninsular will break away from mainland Ukraine. The referendum, which has been dismissed as illegal by the West, follows the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych by pro-Western and nationalist protesters. As the standoff between the Russian military and Ukrainian forces continues in Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, world leaders are continuing to push for a diplomatic solution to the escalating situation though many believe that there is every likelihood that thy vote will favour Crimea being incorporated into Russia. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Dan Kitwood—Getty Images
By TIME Video
March 16, 2014

Dan Pfeiffer, a White House senior advisor, said on NBC’s Meet the Press that Russia was isolating itself from the international community by pushing forward with the referendum in Crimea to split from Ukraine.

On CNN, Sen. John McCain called for a “fundamental reassessment” of the U.S. relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A Senate committee has already passed a bill that places harsh economic sanctions on Russia and sends financial aid to Ukraine. That bill was pushed by President Barack Obama and the White House. It will have to win approval on the Senate floor and in the House before going in to effect.


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