By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
LONDON (AA) – The UK said on Friday it “will never recognize” the referendums on joining Russia recently held in four Ukrainian regions.
Prime Minister Liz Truss said she spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to underline the UK’s support against “Russia’s sham referendums.”
Truss said in a statement that Russian President Vladimir Putin has “once again acted in violation of international law with clear disregard for the lives of the Ukrainian people he claims to represent.”
“The UK will never ignore the sovereign will of those people and we will never accept the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia as anything other than Ukrainian territory,” she said.
“Putin cannot be allowed to alter international borders using brute force. We will ensure he loses this illegal war.”
On Sept. 23-27, Ukraine’s separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk and Russian-controlled parts of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson held referendums on joining Russia.
The Kremlin has said a ceremony will be held on Friday for the formal incorporation of the regions into Russia.
The referendums have been widely condemned by the international community, with European nations and the US saying they will not be recognized.
Russia recognized the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk on Feb. 21, just days before the start of the Ukraine war.