Canada will ‘never recognize’ Ukraine referendum results

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says « Canada does not and will never recognize the results » of referendums held in Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine.

In a written statement, Mr. Trudeau stresses that the “so-called referendums” held by Russia in the occupied regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia, in Ukraine, have “absolutely no legitimacy”.

“These referendums clearly contravene international law and are motivated by the fact that (Russian) President Vladimir Putin believes he can redraw the map of the world as he pleases.

« Canada does not and will never recognize the results of these sham referendums or any illegal attempt to annex Ukrainian territories by Russia, » Trudeau said.

The last day of voting took place Tuesday in the regions of Ukraine controlled by Russia, where the referendums should serve as a pretext for their annexation by Moscow. The Kremlin says residents across much of the country overwhelmingly backed joining Russia in the polls.

Moscow has portrayed these referendums as free and fair, reflecting the people’s desire for self-determination. Tens of thousands of residents had already fled the areas because of the war, and footage shared by those who remained showed armed Russian troops going door to door to pressure Ukrainians to vote.

Russia has stepped up warnings that it may deploy nuclear weapons to defend its territory, including newly acquired land. It also continued to mobilize more than 250,000 additional soldiers to deploy on a front line of more than 1000 km.

Mr. Trudeau also warned that other sanctions will be imposed against “individuals and entities who are complicit in this new attempt to undermine the principles of state sovereignty and who share responsibility for the senseless carnage taking place. right now across Ukraine.

“Canada also reiterates that it strongly condemns Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine, which include the indiscriminate rape, torture and killing of civilians. We will use every tool at our disposal to ensure that these violations of international law do not go unpunished.

“The Ukrainian territory will remain in the hands of Ukraine,” concluded the Prime Minister in his missive.

On Monday, the House of Commons unanimously adopted a motion to condemn « rigged referendums » and indicated that it would never recognize the legitimacy of these polls.

Still in the east of the country following the passage of post-tropical storm Fiona on Wednesday, Prime Minister Trudeau will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to what is indicated in his official agenda.

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