VILNIUS – Lithuania's Foreign Ministry on Friday condemned Russia's illegal annexation of Ukraine's regions of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia
The statement was issued shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin and four Moscow-imposed leaders of these occupied regions signed treaties on the "region's admission to Russia".
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania strongly condemns Russia’s illegal decision to annex the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia, parts of which are under temporary Russian occupation," the ministry's statement reads.
"This is another attempt by Russia to redraw the internationally recognized Ukrainian borders by force and to validate the illegitimate control over the Ukrainian territories of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia, which is a blatant violation of international law, Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, that is why it is null and void, has no legal force and will not be recognized, nor will we ever recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea," the ministry said.
Lithuania as well as the international community does not recognize the pseudo referendums in the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia since their rigged results that served as a pretext for the Russian annexation do not represent the will of Ukrainian people who are resolute in resisting the Russian occupation, the ministry underlined.
Lithuania calls on the international community to impose tighter sanctions on Russia for holding the illegal pseudo referendums on the occupied territories of Ukraine and for their annexation and to bring active participants in this illegal exercise to justice, the statement reads.
It also demands that Russia immediately cease its aggression in Ukraine and withdraw its troops from all Ukrainian territory.
The ministry states that "together with our partners, we will continue using every measure to support Ukraine and its people in their fight for freedom and the democratic future of their country."