NATO denounces “fake” referendums in occupied territories as “escalation of Putin’s war”

Follow live the latest news on the war in Ukraine

Follow live the latest news on the war in Ukraine.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday slammed the “fake” referendums announced by pro-Russian authorities in the occupied areas in Ukraine to join Russia, assuring that it is an “escalation in the war of (Russian President) Vladimir Putin”.

“Fake referendums have no legitimacy and do not change the nature of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said in a message on social networks, criticizing it as a “further escalation” in “Putin’s war” against the neighboring country.

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In his message of repulsion, NATO’s political chief has called on the international community to condemn what he considers a “flagrant violation” of international law and called for increased support for Kiev at this juncture.

The authorities of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, as well as the pro-Russian authorities of Kherson and Zaporiyia, announced Tuesday that the referendum on the accession of these territories to Russia will be held later this week between September 23 and 27.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has assessed that these initiatives are a sign of the desire of the population of these territories to be able to determine whether they want to be part of Russia. “Since the beginning of the special military operation and, in general, in the preceding period, we said that the population of the respective territories should decide their future,” he stressed.

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