We, the Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States and the High Representative of the European Union, unanimously condemn the organization of a sham “election” by Russia on sovereign Ukrainian territory in the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia, as well as in Crimea.
This sham “election” constitutes a new violation of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, as well as the Charter of the United Nations.
Russia has no legitimacy to implement such a process on Ukrainian territory. This sham “election” is a propaganda exercise with no other goal than to legitimize Russia’s illegal possession of Ukrainian territories.
In October 2022, 143 states condemned, following a vote in the United Nations General Assembly, the attempted illegal annexation of sovereign Ukrainian territories, reaffirming that no territorial acquisition resulting from threat or use force will not be recognized as legal.
The regions of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Crimea are part of Ukraine. We will never recognize Russia’s illegitimate claims to Ukraine’s sovereign territory and we call on all states to unequivocally reject them.
Since the beginning of its invasion, Russia has sought to consolidate its power by taking measures aimed at intimidating the population and destroying Ukrainian identity and culture, notably through arbitrary arrests, acts of torture, deportations forces, a policy of forced passportization, “filtration” camps and the imposition of Russian currency, education system, media and law.
Russia’s attempt to create a fait accompli situation through this sham “election” will have no impact on our approach or our support for Ukraine, which is fighting to reclaim its internationally recognized territory. We will remain in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and we will continue to provide Ukraine with financial, humanitarian, diplomatic and security support for as long as necessary.
This article is originally published on diplomatie.gouv.fr