Canada “will never recognize” “mock” referendums, Trudeau reaffirms to Zelenskyy – National

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with Volodymyr Zelenskyy, reassuring the Ukrainian President that Canada will “never” recognize the results of Russia’s recent “dummy” referendums in occupied Ukraine.

The Russian government held referendums in Ukraine’s four occupied regions between September 23 and 27, in which pro-Moscow officials claimed residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of joining Russia.

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Many Western leaders, including US President Joe Biden, have called the referendums a « sham ». Trudeau repeated that characterization of votes in his conversation with Zelenskyy, according to Wednesday’s reading.

« The Prime Minister and the President have denounced Russia’s illegitimate ‘referendums’ in the occupied regions of Ukraine, which constitute a flagrant violation of international law and a further escalation of the Russian invasion, » the reading reads. conversation.

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“The Prime Minister reaffirmed that Canada does not and will never recognize the results of these fictitious referendums or Russia’s attempted illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory.

Trudeau had previously condemned the referendums in a statement tweeted Sept. 20, calling them a « flagrant violation of international law » and a « further escalation of war. »

According to electoral officials installed by Russia, 93% of the votes cast in the Zaporizhzhia region were in favor of annexation, as were 87% in the Kherson region, 98% in the Luhansk region and 99% in Donetsk.

Together, the four provinces make up about 15% of Ukraine’s territory.

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According to the reading of their phone call, Trudeau « praised » Zelenskyy’s leadership and reiterated Canada’s « continued strong support for Ukraine ».

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« Leaders agreed to continue to engage and mobilize world leaders in support of Ukraine and against Russia’s ongoing brutal actions, » he said.

« Prime Minister Trudeau and President Zelensky have agreed to stay in close and regular contact. »

Russian officials, meanwhile, have suggested that the referendum results could be used as a reason to escalate the war.

Dmitry Medvedev, former Russian president and now deputy chairman of President Vladimir Putin’s Security Council, took to social media to warn that anyone entering what Russia considers to be its territory is committing a « crime » that would allow Russia “to use all forces in self-defense.”

Putin issued a similar warning in a seven-minute televised address shortly before the referendums were to be held.

« Our country also has various means of destruction…and when the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, to protect Russia and our people, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal, » he said. .

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As she emerged from a caucus meeting on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland suggested that Canadians shouldn’t even call these votes « referendums. »

“We all know that words matter. These are not referendums. These are fakes. They are a sham and they are recognized by the whole world as such,” Freeland said.

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On the contrary, what these votes show is that Putin « understands that he is losing », she added.

“It’s a good thing for him to lose. This is an illegal and barbaric war, and what we all need to do now is redouble our efforts to support Ukraine,” Freeland said.

« The sooner Ukraine wins, the sooner the torture and death will end, and the sooner the global economy can get back to doing our job of recovering from the COVID recession and bringing prosperity to the people of our countries. »

– with files from Eric Stober of Global News, Reuters

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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