WASHINGTON (AA) - The US said Tuesday it will "never" recognize the results of "sham" referendums in Ukraine planned by Russia and its proxies, maintaining that the forthcoming polls are acts of desperation.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Russia is "rushing" to hold the polls after it was routed in Ukraine's northeast, and ahead of a potential mass mobilization in Russia to bolster its flagging war effort.
"These referenda are an affront to the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity that underpin the international system and lie at the heart of the United Nations Charter," he told reporters at the White House as world leaders convene at the UN headquarters in New York.
"We know that these referenda will be manipulated. We know that Russia will use the sham referenda as a basis to purportedly annex these territories either now or in the future. Let me be clear: If this does transpire, and obviously it's not a done deal yet, but if this does transpire, the United States will never recognize Russia's claims," he added.