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    Eastern NATO states’ presidents condemn Russia's annexation attempt

    The presidents of Central and Eastern European NATO members in a joint statement have expressed support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and decried Russia’s attempts to annex parts of Ukraine.

    The statement was signed by the presidents of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

     

    “We reiterate our support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” the presidents wrote. “We do not recognize and will never recognize Russian attempts to annex any Ukrainian territory.”

     

    The heads of state called the Russian invasion of Ukraine “a blatant violation of international law” and demanded that Russia immediately “withdraw from all the occupied territories.”

     

    They also encouraged “all Allies to substantially increase their military aid to Ukraine.

     

    “All those who commit crimes of aggression must be held accountable and brought to justice,” the presidents concluded.

     

    Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, on Friday formally announced the annexation of four regions of Ukraine: Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia citing the results of referendums carried out by the Russians in the occupied territories on September 23-27, which the West has dismissed as shams.

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