Western leaders react to new regions joining Russia

US will help Ukraine ‘regain control’ of former territories, President Joe Biden says

Western leaders condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin for signing accession treaties on Friday to start the process of integrating the two Donbass republics and Zaporozhye and Kherson regions into the Russian Federation. US President Joe Biden has promised new sanctions and more aid to Kyiv.

The four former Ukrainian territories held referendums between September 23 and 27 on joining Russia, with the measures passing with overwhelming support. The people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in Donbass have been considered independent states by Russia since February, while Putin on Thursday recognized the independence of Kherson and Zaporozhye.

After the Russian president on Friday signed accession treaties with the leaders of the four territories, condemnation poured in from Western leaders.

READ MORE: Putin signs treaties on joining former Ukrainian regions to Russia

“The United States today condemns Russia’s fraudulent attempt to annex sovereign Ukrainian territory,” read a statement from Biden. “The United States will always respect Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders. We will continue to support Ukraine’s efforts to regain control of its territory by strengthening its hand militarily and diplomatically.

Biden added that the United States would sanction anyone who provided “political or economic support” at “Russia’s False Annexation Claims” and that he would sign a bill providing an additional $12 billion to support the Ukrainian government and military.

“The UK will never accept Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions as anything other than Ukrainian territory,” British Prime Minister Liz Truss said in a statement. “We will not hesitate to take further action, including imposing more sanctions to cripple Putin’s war machine,” he added. she added.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission announcement this “the illegal annexation proclaimed by Putin will not change anything”, and that all territories “are Ukrainian lands.” The bloc’s diplomacy chief, Josep Borrell, wrote that the accession of these lands “is a major violation of international law and a violation of [the] Charter of the United Nations.

A similar statement came from the foreign ministers of the G7 states, who said they would never recognize the entry of the four regions into the Russian Federation.


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