US President Joe Biden on Thursday added his voice to Russia’s controversial referendums in Ukraine, stressing that Washington will not recognize Moscow’s annexation of parts of Ukraine.
Speaking at an event hosting Pacific nations’ leaders at the White House, Biden called the move “shameless,” and said: “I want to be very clear about, the United States will never, never, never recognize Russia’s claims on Ukraine sovereign territory.”
“The so-called referenda was a sham, an absolute sham. The results were manufactured in Moscow, and the true will of the Ukrainian people is evident every day as they sacrifice their lives to save their people, maintain the independence of their country, and then defense of freedom as well,” said the US president.
He also said Russia’s war on Ukraine, which he said was in pursuit of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s imperial ambitions, is a flagrant violation of the UN Charter.
Ukraine’s separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk and Russian-controlled parts of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson held referendums on joining Russia on Sept. 23-27.
Around 98% of voters chose to join Russia, Moscow claimed, but the results were highly disputed and dismissed by Ukraine and its Western allies.
The move has been widely condemned by the international community.