(MENAFN- UkrinForm) The countries of the Group of Seven (G7) will never recognize the legitimacy of the sham referenda initiated by Russia in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, and call on all countries of the world to resolutely oppose these attempts by the Kremlin to justify its own international crimes.
This is said a statement of the G7 leaders, the full text of which was published on the website of the European Council, Ukrinform reports.
“We, the Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7), strongly condemn the sham referenda that Russia attempts to use to create a phony pretext for changing the status of Ukrainian sovereign territory, which is subject to an ongoing Russian aggression. These actions clearly breach the United Nations Charter and international law and go diametrically against the rule of law among nations,” the statement says.
According to the G7 leaders, these sham referenda initiated by Russia and its proxies have no legal effect or legitimacy, as demonstrated by Russia's hasty methods of organisation, which in no way respect democratic norms, and its blatant intimidation of local populations. These referenda in areas that have been forcibly put under Russia's temporary control in no way represent a legitimate expression of the will of the Ukrainian people, who have consistently resisted Russian efforts to change borders by force.
“We will never recognise these referenda which appear to be a step toward Russian annexation and we will never recognise a purported annexation if it occurs,” the document reads.
They also condemned deliberate Russian escalatory steps, including the partial mobilisation of reservists and irresponsible nuclear rhetoric.
“We call upon all countries to unequivocally reject these sham referenda as Russia's attempt to give false cover to its violations of international law. We stand ready to impose further economic costs on Russia, and on individuals and entities – inside and outside of Russia – providing political or economic support for Russia's illegal attempts to change the status of Ukrainian territory,” the statement says.
The G7 leaders stressed that they are steadfast in their commitment to providing the support Ukraine needs to uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity, to defend itself, and to choose its own future.
“We will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military, diplomatic and legal support, and will move ahead on reconstruction efforts, including through the International Expert Conference on the Recovery, Reconstruction and Modernisation of Ukraine in Berlin on 25 October,” the statement says.
As reported, after the start of Russia's full-scale military invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, which became a continuation of the Russian war against Ukraine launched in 2014, the leaders of the Group of Seven countries and the European Union expressed full solidarity with Ukraine and started to provide it with significant economic, financial, and humanitarian assistance and military aid. These countries also imposed agreed individual and sectoral economic sanctions on Russia aimed at limiting the Kremlin's ability to finance its war machine.
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