EU slams Russia’s ‘illegal’ annexation of Ukraine regions
Brussels, Sep 30 (EFE).- European Union leaders said they would “never recognize” Russia’s “illegal” annexation of four Ukrainian territories and offered their steadfast support to Kyiv in the face of the Russian invasion.
Members of the European Council released a firm statement as president Vladimir Putin signed decrees to absorb Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson into the Russian Federation following a nationalistic speech at the Kremlin.
“We firmly reject and unequivocally condemn the illegal annexation by Russia of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions,” the statement read.
EU leaders also rejected the “illegal” referendums engineered by Russia to create a pretext for annexation.
“These decisions are null and void and cannot produce any legal effect whatsoever. Crimea, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk are Ukraine. We call on all States and international organizations to unequivocally reject this illegal annexation.”
The leaders said Russia was “putting global security at risk” by flouting rules-based international order and violating Ukraine’s rights to “independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The EU would stand “resolutely” with Ukraine, which is exercising its “legitimate right to defend itself against Russian aggression.”
“The nuclear threats made by the Kremlin, the military mobilization and the strategy of seeking to falsely present Ukraine’s territory as Russia’s and purporting that the war may now be taking place on Russia’s territory will not shake our resolve.”
“We will strengthen our restrictive measures countering Russia’s illegal actions. They will further increase pressure on Russia to end its war of aggression,” the statement continued.
Putin’s decision to annex the four regions, which are partially controlled by Russia’s invading forces and separatist allies, marks a severe escalation in the conflict. EFE