By Giada Zampano
ROME (AA) – Far-right leader Giorgia Meloni, set to become Italy's new prime minister next month, said on Friday that Russia's annexation of four Ukrainian regions has "no legal and political value."
In a statement, Meloni said Russian President Vladimir Putin "once again demonstrates his Soviet-style, neo-imperialist vision that threatens the security of the entire European continent."
Russia earlier on Friday declared the annexation of four Ukrainian regions – Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson – after what it called free referendums in the areas on joining Russia on Sept. 23-28.
Meloni said the "sham referendums held during a violent military occupation have no legal or political value" and called for a firm and unified response from Western countries in reaction to Moscow's moves.
The international community has condemned the referendums as illegal and most European countries, including Italy, have refused to recognize their outcome.
After a sound electoral victory of her nationalist Brothers of Italy party in the Sept. 25 national election, Meloni is expected to be tapped to form a new government by the end of October.
She has ensured her full support for Kyiv after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy congratulated her for the electoral victory.