If Russia chooses to annex regions of Ukraine it currently occupies, the West should respond with a new round of sanctions, the Polish foreign minister said in Washington on Thursday. Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement that the members of the international community should not recognize the legitimacy of the pseudo-referenda and their “results.”
On Tuesday, Russia began what the West calls ‘mock’ referenda in the occupied regions of Ukraine as a prelude to their potential annexation, a move similar to the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
Russia’s potential move was one of the subjects discussed on Thursday by Zbigniew Rau, the Polish foreign minister, and Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives.
Commenting on what the West should do if Moscow takes yet another step forward, Rau said: “Absolutely, there will be further sanctions because it will be yet another act of international lawlessness which the international community cannot agree to.”
He thanked Pelosi for the US leadership in times “when the security architecture has collapsed owing to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.”
According to Rau, Pelosi “praised Poland for its resolve in opposing the Russian aggression against Ukraine.”
Poland’s foreign minister said that he and Pelosi also discussed an energy crisis that Western Europe may face during winter, including Poland’s energy security, and how this can lead some EU leaders to pressure Ukraine to start negotiations with Russia.
Moreover, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement in which it calls on “the members of the international community not to recognize the legitimacy of the pseudo-referenda and their “result” as they by no means reflect the will of the people of these regions, often forced to attend the vote.”
“Actions taken by the Russian Federation, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, are a violation of basic principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter. We strongly reject Russia’s claims to the territories remaining within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders, including the territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, illegally occupied since 2014. We call for bringing to justice all individuals involved in carrying out of the fake referenda as well as individuals and Russian institutions operating on the illegally occupied territory of Ukraine. Poland is determined to continue cooperation with its partners in this respect,” we can read in the statement.