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Polish foreign ministry condemns Russia’s illegal ‘referenda’ in Ukraine

28.09.2022 23:45
Poland’s foreign ministry has denounced Russia’s illegal “referenda” in occupied parts of Ukraine’s Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
The Polish foreign ministry building in Warsaw.
The Polish foreign ministry building in Warsaw.Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell

The ministry expressed its stance in a statement published on Wednesday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Poland condemns Russian ‘referenda’ in Ukraine

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs clearly and strongly condemns Russia carrying out illegal ‘referenda’ aimed at the annexation of parts of Ukraine’s regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson, temporarily occupied by Russia,” the statement said.

The Polish foreign ministry added: “We call on the members of the international community not to recognize the legitimacy of the pseudo-referenda and their ‘results’ as they by no means reflect the will of the people of these regions, often forced to attend the vote.”

The statement stressed: “Actions taken by the Russian Federation, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, are a violation of basic principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter. We strongly reject Russia’s claims to the territories remaining within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders, including the territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, illegally occupied since 2014.”

Poland supports ‘Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity’

Poland’s foreign ministry further said: “We call for bringing to justice all individuals involved in carrying out the fake referenda as well as individuals and Russian institutions operating on the illegally occupied territory of Ukraine. Poland is determined to continue cooperation with its partners in this respect.”

The statement added: “We support Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. We call on the Russian Federation to immediately cease its hostilities and instantly and completely withdraw Russian troops from the whole territory of Ukraine in its internationally recognized borders.

“We will continue to support Ukraine’s efforts to liberate the territory temporarily occupied by Russia as long as it is necessary. Ukraine has a sovereign right to defend itself and regain full control of its territory."

Falsified ‘referenda’

Russian authorities in occupied parts of Ukraine’s Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts “completed their falsified annexation ‘referenda’ on September 27 and implausibly claimed that each sham referendum received between 87 and 99% approval from Ukrainian residents," the Institute for the Study of War reported.

In a speech on Tuesday night, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed the plebiscites as “a farce” and vowed that the Russian-held territories would return to Ukraine, according to the PAP news agency. 

Also on Tuesday, the US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, told the UN Security Council the United States had drafted a resolution to reject Russia’s referendum votes in Ukraine and was “calling on member states not to recognise any altered status of Ukraine and obligating Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine,” as cited by thehill.com.

Brussels proposes new sanctions against Russia

On Wednesday, the European Commission proposed new import bans on Russian products and tighter trade restrictions as part of a new package of European Union sanctions on Russia over its war in Ukraine.

Brussels’ move came in response to the Kremlin’s recent military mobilisation, new nuclear threats against the West, the staging of so-called referendums in occupied areas of Ukraine and preparations to annex a swathe of the former Soviet republic, which aspires to join the EU, the Reuters news agency reported.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: "We do not accept the sham referenda nor any kind of annexation," as she outlined the bloc's eighth round of sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

UK, German leaders dismiss Russia’s ‘referenda,’ pledge support to Ukraine

Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday spoke on the phone to Ukraine’s president, vowing his country would never recognise the results of Russia’s sham referenda, the PAP news agency reported.

Scholz also declared Germany would continue to provide “political, financial and humanitarian support” to Ukraine as well as “supply weapons,” as cited by PAP.  

UK Prime Minister Liz Truss also held a phone call with Zelensky on Wednesday, reiterating British support for Ukraine and stressing that London would never recognise Russia’s attempts to annex Ukrainian territory.

Downing Street said in a statement: “The Prime Minister spoke to President Zelensky this afternoon to underline the UK’s steadfast support in light of Russia’s sham referendums in Ukraine.”

It added: “The Prime Minister made clear that the UK would never recognise Russian attempts to annexe sovereign territory. She reiterated that Ukraine could depend on the UK’s support until President Putin was defeated.”

Wednesday was day 217 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.   


Source: PAP, gov.pl, thehill, ukrinform.netgov.uk