By Vakkas Dogantekin
ANKARA (AA) - Türkiye said early Saturday that it rejects Russia's decision to annex four Ukrainian regions just as it did not recognize the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said Moscow's decision "constitutes a grave violation of the established principles of international law, cannot be accepted."
"Türkiye did not recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea in an illegitimate referendum in 2014 and has emphasized its strong support to Ukraine’s territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty on every occasion," it said.
“In accordance with this stance adopted in 2014, we reject Russia’s decision to annex the Donetsk, Luhansk, Herson and Zaphorizhia regions of Ukraine," it added.
The ministry further said Türkiye continues its support for the "resolution of this war, the severity of which keeps growing, based on a just peace that will be reached through negotiations."
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Friday the “accession” of the regions to Russia.
Putin said the referendums took place, “results are known, people made their choice."
On Sept. 23 - 27, the Ukrainian separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk and Russian-controlled parts of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson held referendums on joining Russia.
The referendums have been condemned by the international community, with European nations and the US calling them a "sham" and saying that they will not be recognized.