The United States warned that “it will never recognize” the Russian annexations of Ukrainian territory, for which it will ignore the results of the referendums to annex pro-Russian areas of that country.
“These referendums are an affront to the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity that underpin the international system,” White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said.
“The United States will never recognize Russia’s claims to any allegedly annexed part of Ukraine”, he added.
The pro-Russian separatist territories of Donetsk and Lugansk, in the Donbas region (east of Ukraine) as well as the regions of Kherson (south) and Zaporizhzhia (southeast), all occupied by Moscow’s forces, announced the call for referendums from September 23 to 27 to decide on annexation to Moscow.
These consultations are based on the one that confirmed the annexation by Russia of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014 and that was denounced by the international community.
Sullivan said the referendums and reports of a Russian plan to call in more troops to Ukraine they reflect Moscow’s recent setbacks in the war, with the Ukrainian forces taking back significant chunks of territory.
“These are not actions of a trusting country. These are not acts of force, quite the opposite.” Sullivan said.
NATO considers that referendums are an “escalation”
The referendums called in various regions of Ukraine to decide the annexation to Russia they constitute a “further escalation” to the war, said the secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg, on Tuesday.
“False referendums have no legitimacy and do not change the nature of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. This is a new escalation in the war of [Vladimir] Putin”Stoltenberg noted on Twitter.
According to the head of the Western military alliance, “the international community must condemn this flagrant violation of international law and step up support for Ukraine.”
“Ukraine is going to solve the Russian question. The threat can only be liquidated by force.” the head of the Ukrainian presidential administration Andrii Yermak wrote on Telegram.