During a ceremony at the Kremlin on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin proclaimed the annexation of four territories in Ukraine.
The President stated at the ceremony that “four new regions”, namely – Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions, have become part of Russia and called the residents of these regions’ Russian citizens “forever”, after making their choice in recent so-called “referendums”.
He further called it “the will of hundreds of people” in his speech. “We will defend our land with all our strength and all our means,” he added and urged the Kyiv regime “to immediately cease the hostilities… and return to the negotiating table.”
The move has been widely condemned by the international community.
On Thursday, the secretary general of the United Nations (UN), Antonio Guterres, condemned the annexation plan as it clearly violates international law.
In this moment of peril, I must underscore my duty as Secretary-General to uphold the @UN Charter.
The Charter is clear.
Any annexation of a State’s territory by another State resulting from the threat or use of force is a violation of the Principles of the Charter & int’l law.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) September 29, 2022
“The charter is clear. Any annexation of a state’s territory by another state resulting from the threat or use of force is a violation of the principles of the UN Charter and international law.”
He further added that the annexation plan “cannot be reconciled with the international legal framework” and that it “clearly stands against everything the international community is meant to stand for.”
The UN Chief stated that such decisions will only further compromise the prospects for peace, which will have a devastating impact on the world economy and have disproportionate effects on developing countries.
Besides the stance taken by Mr. Guterres, there have been many others who have condemned the “sham” votes and stated that they will never recognize the annexation.
Following the annexation, the UK and the US announced new sanctions against Moscow. The motion condemning the annexation, proposed by the US at the UN Security Council, has been vetoed by Russia.
In addition, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has accused Putin of provoking “the most serious escalation” of the war.
As reported by Ukrainian officials, the move to declare the annexation at the grand ceremony at the Kremlin took place after an attack in Zaporizhzhia, which claimed at least 25 innocent lives.
Furthermore, in his speech, the President slammed the “west” as neo-colonial and accused Washington and its allies of destroying the Nord Stream gas pipelines.