TOKYO: The G7 Foreign Ministers have issued a statement condemning “the staging of sham ‘elections’ held by Russia on sovereign Ukrainian territory in Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia oblasts and Crimea.”
The statement was issued by the Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, as well as the High Representative of the European Union.
The statement said that the “sham ‘elections’ are a further violation of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and of the UN Charter. Russia has no legitimate basis for any such actions on the territory of Ukraine.”
The Foreign Ministers called the elections a propaganda exercise aimed at legitimizing Russia’s illegal seizure of Ukrainian territory.
In October 2022, 143 states voted at the UN General Assembly to condemn Russia’s attempted illegal annexation of sovereign Ukrainian territory, reaffirming that no territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal. Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia oblasts and Crimea are part of Ukraine.
“We will never recognize Russia’s illegitimate claims to sovereign Ukrainian territory and call on all States to unequivocally reject them,” the statement said. “Russia’s attempt to create a situation of fait-accompli through these sham ‘elections’ will not alter our approach nor our support to Ukraine as it fights to reclaim its internationally recognized territory. We will stand with the Ukrainian people and continue to provide the financial, humanitarian, security and diplomatic support Ukraine requires for as long as it takes.”
The Ministers accused Russia of seeking to exercise control through policies designed to install fear and to suppress Ukrainian culture and identity through arbitrary detention, torture, forced deportations and the imposition of Russian law, media, education and currency.