Poland’s foreign minister, Zbigniew Rau, announced today that Poland would not recognize the Russian pseudo-elections taking place in the occupied territories of Ukraine. These elections, scheduled for September 10, 2023, have raised concerns about their legitimacy and have drawn strong condemnation from the international community.
The pseudo-elections are set to occur in four Ukrainian regions – Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson – which have been under Russian control for several years. Reports from the Ukrinform agency on September 4 revealed that voting had already commenced in the Kherson Oblast, where Russian forces were accused of coercing civilians into participating through threats and intimidation.
Rau’s statement minced no words, declaring that Russia’s actions were part of an ongoing campaign to forcibly annex these regions and pursue a “deliberate genocidal policy of deukrainisation.” He affirmed that Poland would stand firmly against these illegitimate elections and work with its allies to support Ukraine in its struggle.
Earlier the same day, Poland’s foreign ministry condemned Russia’s attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. The ministry expressed grave concern over Russia’s intentions, accusing it of spreading fear, destruction, and provoking a global humanitarian crisis. In particular, it cited the recent attacks on Zaporizhia and Danube ports as distressing examples of Russia’s actions.
The United States also joined the chorus of condemnation against Russia’s pseudo-elections. On Friday, the U.S. Department of State issued a statement expressing outrage over Russia’s disregard for the principles outlined in the UN Charter. The statement reaffirmed the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and warned against recognizing Russia’s claims to Ukrainian territory.