NATO accuses Putin of escalating the war with his “fake referendums” in the occupied areas of Ukraine | International


NATO has been quick to react to Russia’s latest moves in the invasion of Ukraine. The secretary general of the Atlantic Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, has warned that “false referendums have no legitimacy and do not change the nature of the aggression.” “The international community must condemn this blatant violation of international law and increase support for Ukraine,” he added in a Twitter message released on Tuesday. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has also charged against these consultations by pointing out that they will never be recognized by the international community: “If the idea of ​​the Donbas referendum were not so tragic, it would be funny”, he assured.

After the advance of the counteroffensive of the Ukrainian army in the east of the country, several pro-Russian leaders of the territories that Moscow controls in Ukraine have demanded the holding of referendums on the annexation to Russia of these areas. Consultations will be held in Lugansk and Donetsk on September 23-27, and Kherson and Zaporizhia have also been announced.

These movements are what Stoltenberg, the top leader of the largest military alliance in the world, has interpreted as a “new escalation in Putin’s war”, which is why he calls for more support for the invaded country from the international community.

The United States has reacted with very similar words. The White House has assured this Tuesday that it will never recognize the “false referendums” that may be held in Ukraine. “The United States will never recognize Russia’s demands on any annexed part of Ukraine. And we will never recognize this territory as anything more than a part of Ukraine,” said National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.

In this sense, Sullivan has stressed that the US Administration “unequivocally” rejects the actions carried out by Russia. These votes would constitute, according to the White House Security Adviser, “an affront to the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity that sustain the international system.” In addition, he considers that the results of these queries will be manipulated.

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The State Duma, the Russian Parliament, has approved this Tuesday a series of amendments that contemplate for the first time scenarios such as the general mobilization of the population and the state of war.

From the first moment the invasion began, NATO and all its member countries have unreservedly supported kyiv. It has been done, especially, by the United States, the largest country in the Alliance and the remaining 29. In addition, they have called other nearby countries to join them. However, NATO has always taken special care that this explicit verbal support is not direct in order to prevent Moscow from using it as an excuse to extend the war to countries of the Alliance, which would end up in the feared war scenario between two nuclear powers. .

In Brussels, the president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, has also reacted. The Maltese, in almost the same words as the Norwegian, stated that “no false referendum will change Europe’s position on Ukraine and its territorial integrity.” “Nothing will change the fact that it was Russia that invaded Ukraine”, she has settled in a message on Twitter.

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