ANKARA (AA) - The European Union on Tuesday strongly condemned plans to hold referendums in Ukraine's separatist regions on joining Russia.
“This is Russia’s attempt to legitimize its illegal military control and aims to forcibly change Ukraine’s borders in clear violation of the UN Charter and Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the office of EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.
“The EU strongly condemns these planned illegal ‘referenda,’ which go against the legal and democratically elected Ukrainian authorities, are in violation of Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and in blatant breach of international law,” Borrell said.
The results of such actions will be null and void and would not be recognized by the EU and its member states, he noted.
“Russia, its political leadership, and all those involved in these ‘referenda’ and other violations of international law in Ukraine will be held accountable, and additional restrictive measures against Russia would be considered,” according to Borrell.
Russian-backed representatives of at least four regions in Ukraine have said they will hold a referendum on joining Russia in the coming days.
Ukraine's Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions will hold referendums on joining Russia on Sept. 23-27, said Russian-backed representatives of the regions.
Commenting on the announcements, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said “the people of Donbas want to be masters of their own destiny.”
Zehra Nur Duz/AA