Friday, September 30, 2022 – The United States will “never, never, never” recognize Russia’s attempt to annex territory in Ukraine, President Joe Biden has vowed.
Biden made the vow ahead of a speech on Friday, September 30 from Russian president, Vladimir Putin, who is due to declare that four occupied Ukrainian regions are now part of Russia.
The Kremlin says Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson supported annexation in five-day referendums which have been widely condemned by the West as a sham.
In a speech on Thursday night, Biden said the US will impose new sanctions on Russia as a result of the annexation.
“The United States, I want to be very clear about this, will never, never, never recognise Russia’s claims on Ukraine sovereign territory,”
On Thursday, the Russian president signed two decrees recognising Zaporizhzhia and Kherson as independent territories – paving the way for them to be annexed.
The documents, shared on Russian state media, say the independence of the two regions is being recognised in accordance with international law and “enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations”.
But UN Secretary General António Guterres has said any annexation of a country’s territory based on the use of force violates the UN Charter and international law. It is a “dangerous escalation” that “has no place in the modern world”, he said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said his country will decide how to respond at an emergency meeting of his national security and defence council on Friday. National Security Council secretary Oleksiy Danilov said “important, fundamental decisions for our country” would be taken, but gave no details.
None of the four occupied regions that Russia aims to incorporate are under its full control. It can only lay claim to 60% of Donetsk while Zaporizhzhia’s regional capital remains in Ukrainian hands.
There are active front lines in all four regions and Ukrainian forces are reported to have encircled a strategically significant town in Donetsk that they lost during the summer. If Lyman falls it would mark a dramatic setback for the Russian leader.
In a phone call with Putin on Thursday, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his opposition to the planned annexation.
Erdogan called on the Russian leader to have peace negotiations with Ukraine, according to a spokesperson.
Turkey, along with the UN, has mediated in negotiations between Russia and Ukraine in the past – with success in reaching a deal to resume exports of grain through the Black Sea.