UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging Russia and Ukraine to avoid provocation and hasty decisions in the coming days, warning that there is "a great risk of dangerous, downward spiral."
The U.N. chief said no "hasty measures" should be taken following Sunday's referendum on whether Crimea should become part of Russia that "may impact the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine."
"It is clear that we are at the crossroads," Ban said.
He told reporters he spoke earlier Friday with Russian President Vladimir Putin and discussed "the need to work toward a durable and fair political solution.
Ban met late Thursday with Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and said they discussed "the need for all concerned to respect the law and for calm in an increasing complex and threatening situation."