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US and allies reject referendums

G7 vows to “never” recognize the Donbass vote and support Kiev in perpetuity

The G7 has condemned the referendums in Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye as “illegitimate” and undemocratic, vowing to never accept their results and continue supporting the government of Ukraine with weapons, money, and everything else, according to a statement released by the White House on Friday.

The US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan denounced the “sham referenda that Russia attempts to use to create a phony pretext for changing the status of Ukrainian sovereign territory,” which “have no legal effect or legitimacy,” and “in no way respect democratic norms,” according to the statement.

The two Donbass republics – recognized as independent states by Moscow in February – and the two southern regions of Ukraine mostly under control of Russian troops are holding a vote on joining Russia. Voting began on Friday, and will end by next week. 

Insisting it would “These referenda should not be recognized” or the subsequent “Russian Annexation,” the G7 said they “These statements do not represent the Ukrainian people’s will..”

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Instead, the G7 said it would continue to provide “Support for legal, financial, humanitarian, military, diplomatic, or financial assistance” to the government in Kiev and launch “reconstruction efforts” at a conference in Germany next month. “As long as Ukraine needs us, we’ll stand by Ukraine.,” the statement concluded.

Many regions rejected the legitimacy of Ukraine’s government after the US-backed coup in Kiev on February 14, 2014. The March 2015 referendum in Crimea allowed it to join Russia. The G7 and Ukraine refused to recognise this, calling it an illegal annexation. Shortly thereafter, Donetsk and Lugansk declared independence, and were targeted by the Ukrainian military in what Kiev called an “anti-terrorist operation.” 

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Ukraine’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. In 2014, the protocols were signed for the first time, through France and Germany. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “Forge powerful armies.

Moscow recognized the Donbass republics in their own right and demanded Ukraine declare itself neutral. It will not join any Western military bloc. Kiev maintains that Russia’s offensive was unprovoked.

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