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Russia has told the US that Western sanctions over the Crimea dispute are unacceptable, and has threatened “consequences” ,without specifying.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov issued the warning in a telephone call to US Secretary of State John Kerry,BBC Reports

After Mr Lavrov spoke to Mr Kerry, the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement: “(Crimea) republic residents made their democratic choice in line with the international law and the UN charter, which Russia accepts and respects.

“The sanctions introduced by the United States and the European Union are unacceptable and will not remain without consequences.”

Mr Kerry later warned that any incursion by Russia into eastern Ukraine would be “as egregious as any step I can think of”.

“I hope we don’t get there,” he added.

On Tuesday, Mr Putin said Western sanctions would be viewed as an act of aggression, and that Moscow would retaliate.

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin

In his speech at the Kremlin on Tuesday, Mr Putin told a joint session of Russia’s parliament that Crimea had “always been part of Russia” and in signing the treaty he was righting a “historical injustice”.

On Wednesday there were reports of an incident at a naval base in Sevastopol.

An Associated Press reporter at the scene said pro-Russian self-defence forces had broken into the building – the headquarters of the Ukrainian navy – and raised the Russian flag.