In a propaganda speech in the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of the occupied regions of Ukraine to Russia. “Millions want this solution,” argued the Russian president, referring to the announced results of illegal pseudo-referenda carried out with blatant abuses in the territories of Ukraine occupied by Russian forces. The Kremlin’s actions met with the unequivocal stance of EU leaders who “firmly reject and condemn the illegal Russian annexation.”
– We have made a decision to include the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, as well as the Kherson and Zaporizhia oblasts, into the Russian Federation. I am convinced that the Federal Assembly (joint chambers of parliament – ed.) Will support this decision – he said on Friday Vladimir Putinspeaking in the Kremlin. “Millions of people want this solution,” he argued.
His speech, in which he repeatedly accused the West of intentions to destroy Russiawas often interrupted by the ovations of the regime representatives gathered in the hall.
Putin said, inter alia, that the inhabitants of the occupied territories are Russian citizens “forever”. He assured that Russia would defend this territory “by all means”. He also called on the authorities in Kiev to “return to the negotiating table” and assured that Russia was “ready to talk”.
EU leaders: We firmly reject and unequivocally condemn Russia’s illegal annexation
In response to the actions of the Kremlin the joint statement was issued by the leaders of the 27 countries of the European Union.
“We firmly reject and unequivocally condemn the illegal annexation by Russia of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson oblasts. By deliberately undermining the rules-based international order and grossly violating fundamental rights Ukraine to independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, basic principles enshrined in the UN Charter and international law, Russia is jeopardizing global security, “the statement reads.
“We do not and will never recognize the illegal ‘referenda’ that Russia has held as a pretext for further violations of Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, or their falsified and illegal results. We will never recognize this illegal annexation. These decisions are invalid and may not trigger no legal consequences. Crimea, Kherson, Zaporozhye, Donetsk and Luhansk are Ukraine. We call on all states and international organizations to unambiguously reject this illegal annexation, “they called EU leaders.
They also assured that in the face of aggression waged by Russia, as well as recent actions escalating the situation, The European Union strongly supports Ukraine and its citizens.
“We consistently support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. Ukraine uses its legitimate right to defend itself against Russian aggression to regain full control of its territory and has the right to liberate the occupied territories within internationally recognized borders. Nuclear threats from the Kremlin, military mobilization and the strategy of seeking to misrepresent Ukrainian territory as Russian, and to suggest that the war may now be waged on Russian territory, will not undermine our determination. We will strengthen our restrictions against Russia’s illegal actions. They will further increase pressure on Russia to end the aggression. We repeat, that the European Union unwaveringly supports Ukraine and will continue to provide it with strong economic, military, social and financial support for as long as it is needed, said EU leaders.
The head of the European Commission: the illegal annexation announced by Putin will not change anything
The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, wrote on Twitter when publishing a joint statement by EU leaders that “the illegal annexation announced by Putin will not change anything.” “All territories illegally occupied by Russian invaders are Ukrainian land and will always be part of this sovereign state,” she added.
In turn, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell wrote that “the announced annexation of Ukrainian territories by Russia is a serious violation of international law and a violation of the United Nations Charter.” “No false referendum can justify it. The territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine are not negotiable. EU support for Ukraine remains unwavering,” he declared.
The Russian leader issued decrees on Thursday evening recognizing the Ukrainian-occupied and occupied regions of Kherson and Zaporizhia as “sovereign and independent states”. The decision is to be approved by the Russian parliament, and then both territories, like other Ukrainian regions – Donetsk and Luhansk – will be annexed.
Moscow’s decision provoked numerous reactions from Western politicians and experts, emphasizing that the pseudo-referendum which sanctioned the annexation carried out in recent days was a gross violation of international law and had nothing to do with democratic procedures.
As Ukrainian authorities and media reported, the Russian occupiers forced the inhabitants of the conquered territories to participate in a pseudo-referendum, threatening them with weapons, and people who refused to participate were sometimes thrown out of their homes. The counting process resembled a staging for propagandized mass media, and the announced results, according to which “reunification” with Russia was supported by some 80-95 percent of the population, were to be approved in the Kremlin long before the pseudo-referenda.
Main photo source: EPA / GAVRIIL GRIGOROVSPUTNIK / KREMLIN