Blinken condemns a new “seizure of territories” by Russia

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – “The mock pro-Russian referendums in Ukraine are a futile effort to mask what constitutes yet another land grab” by Russia, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday.

“Let’s be clear: the results were orchestrated by Moscow and do not reflect the will of the people of Ukraine,” added the head of American diplomacy.

During a meeting with leaders of the Pacific region in Washington, President Joe Biden reaffirmed that the United States would never recognize the results of the referendums “manufactured by Moscow”, an “absolute charade” according to him.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will preside on Friday in the Kremlin at a signing ceremony for the attachment to Russia of four Ukrainian territories where referendums have taken place in recent days, at the end of which the “yes” vote won by very large majorities. .

This integration will concern the areas occupied by Moscow in the Ukrainian administrative regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson, ie approximately 15% of the territory of Ukraine, in the east and south of the country.

“Any decision to proceed with the annexation of the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson has no legal basis and must be condemned,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters on Thursday, adding that this integration into Russia of new Ukrainian lands, after the Crimea annexed in 2014, would represent a “dangerous escalation”.

(Washington Office, French version Jean-Stéphane Brosse)

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