Russia’s plan to annex four Ukrainian regions would mark a “dangerous escalation” in the war in Ukraine that would jeopardise the prospects for peace, the United Nations secretary-general has warned.
“Any decision to proceed with the annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia regions of Ukraine would have no legal value and deserves to be condemned,” said Antonio Guterres Secretary-General of United Nations .“I want to underscore that the so-called referenda were conducted during active armed conflict in areas under Russian occupation and outside Ukraine’s legal and constitutional framework. They cannot be called genuine expression of the popular will,” Guterres said.
He described the planned annexation of the regions as having “no place in the modern world”. We are fully committed to the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders,” he said, calling on Russia to de-escalate tensions.
The Kremlin’s sham referenda are a futile effort to mask what amounts to a further attempt at a land grab in Ukraine,” Blinken said in a statement.“This spectacle conducted by Russia’s proxies is illegitimate and violates international law. It is an affront to the principles of international peace and security,” he added. According to a statement by Thomas-Greenfield on Tuesday, the resolution will be “condemning these sham referenda, calling on Member States not to recognise any altered status of Ukraine, and obligating Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine.”
Russia has said it will see Ukrainian attacks on annexed regions as attacks on itself and will use all means to defend it.Russian government officials have also warned that the four regions will fall under Moscow’s nuclear umbrella once they have been formally incorporated into Russia.
Putin said on Thursday that “all mistakes” made in a call-up to reinforce Russian forces in Ukraine should be corrected, his first public acknowledgment that the “partial mobilisation” he announced last week had not gone smoothly. “In the course of this mobilisation, many questions are coming up, and all mistakes mist be corrected and prevented from happening in the future,” Putin said.Meanwhile, Moscow is at loggerheads with Europe over leaks detected in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines from Russia to Germany, with still no firm indications as to what or who might have caused the damage.