Washington, Sep 21 (PTI): The United States has termed the plan to hold voting in Russian-controlled regions of eastern and southern Ukraine to become integral parts of Russia a “sham” and an “affront to principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Tuesday claimed that “these referenda will be manipulated” and asserted the US would never recognise Russia’s claims to any purportedly annexed parts of Ukraine.
“These referenda are an affront to the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity that underpin the international system and let lie at the heart of the United Nations Charter,” Sullivan told reporters at a press conference at the White House.
“We know that these referenda will be manipulated. Russia will use these sham referenda as a basis to purportedly annex these territories either now or in the future,” he said.
The United States, Sullivan said, has been warning for months about Russia’s plans to hold “sham referenda in areas of Ukraine under its control, and even in areas of the country not currently under its control, in direct violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty”.
Russia is rushing to hold these referendums in response to Ukraine’s gains on the battlefield as well as to prepare for potential mobilization measures, the National Security Advisor in the Joe Biden administration said.
“We will never recognise this territory as anything other than a part of Ukraine. We reject Russia’s actions unequivocally. We will continue to work with our allies and partners to impose costs on Russia.” Sullivan said the US is aware of reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin may be preparing for mobilisation measures. “Like its sham annexation planning, this is reflective of Russia’s struggles in Ukraine.” “He (Putin) may be resorting to partial mobilisation, forcing even more Russians to go fight his brutal war in Ukraine in part because they need more personnel and manpower given the success that Ukraine has had on the battlefield, particularly in the northeast,” he said.
Sullivan asserted that Russia is throwing together “sham referendums on three days’ notice as they continue to lose ground on the battlefield and more world leaders distance themselves from Russia on the public stage”.
“The United States and our allies in the international community will stand against these transparent efforts on the part of Russia and stand firmly with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people,” he said.
The US is supplying Ukraine with the weapon systems, including an announcement of more than USD 600 million in weapons just last week, that it believes needs to be able to successfully prosecute the offensives, Sullivan told reporters.
“That being said, nobody is resting on the laurels of the recent Ukrainian successes. The Ukrainian military is preparing to consolidate the gains it has made, continue to try to make further gains and defend against potential Russian counterattacks in various places.” “The US and all of our allies and partners are providing them with the requisite level of support for them to be able to carry out those efforts on the battlefield,” he asserted. PTI LKJ NSD
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