Russian Referendums in Ukraine 'Extremely Worrying', Trudeau Says | War in Ukraine

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Russian referendums in Ukraine are “extremely worrying”, says Trudeau | War in Ukraine

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a joint press conference with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calls referendums taking place in Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine “extremely disturbing and absolutely unacceptable” and believes Moscow is orchestrating annexation.

“They are preparing the annexation of occupied parts of Ukraine so that they can accuse the Ukrainians of invading Russian territories .

—Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Mr. Trudeau made the statement Friday at a press briefing on the sidelines of a meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.

Moscow had started earlier in the day its operation of dummy referendums in Ukrainian regions under its control of Lugansk, Kherson, Donetsk and Zaporizhia, confirmed pro-Russian representatives of these regions. Citizens are asked to indicate on the ballots whether they want their region to be incorporated into Russia.

In his response, Mr. Trudeau also argued that the unprecedented situation in which Russia violates the central principles of the United Nations will only worsen with the referendums.

“The reality is that [Ukrainians] are defending their homeland, their territory, their sovereignty.

—Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Asked whether he was in favor of removing Moscow's veto on the UN Security Council, the prime minister did not directly answer the question.

We are in a rather peculiar situation where one of the countries responsible for the founding of the United Nations, which sits on the Permanent Security Council, is now in flagrant violation of the most fundamental principles [. ..] values, agreements and rules established by the United Nations, he said.

The referendums come just after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial conscription of 300,000 reservists to bolster frontline ranks in Ukraine.

In a joint statement, leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) have strongly condemned the sham referendums used by Russia as a pretext to change the status of the sovereign territory of Ukraine, currently under attack by Russia.

“There is no doubt that these acts contravene the Charter of the United Nations and international law and are totally against the rule of law between nations.

— Excerpt from a written statement by G7 leaders

We will never recognize these referendums, which appear to be a step towards Russian annexation, nor a so-called annexation if it takes place, they add.

The leaders of the G7 – Canada, Germany, the United States, France, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom – also said they deplore Russia's deliberate escalation measures, including the partial mobilization of reserves and its irresponsible nuclear rhetoric.

We are prepared to impose new economic costs on Russia – as well as on persons and entities inside and outside Russia – who provide political or economic support to Russia's illegal attempts to change the status of Ukrainian territory, they say.

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