VILNIUS - The chair of the foreign affairs committees of the parliaments of Lithuania and another 12 EU member states have condemned Russia's sham "referendums" in Ukraine's occupied territories.
The Friday statement was signed by the heads of the parliamentary committees of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Spain, Romania, France, Slovakia, Germany, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands, the Lithuanian Seimas' press service said.
"We emphasize that the sham referendums organized and imposed by the Russian occupation regime in four regions of Ukraine are a clear violation of international law, including the UN charter, and can only be considered as a false pretext to attempt to annex parts of Ukraine and justify their illegal war," the statement reads.
The committee chairs also stated that these „referendums“ and whatever fabricated outcomes Russia will announce do not represent the demonstrated will of the Ukrainian people and are a
severe violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and independence.
"We reiterate our strongest condemnation of the ongoing war of aggression of Russia against Ukraine, Russia’s sham referendums and all officials and collaborators involved in the organization of these referendums in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine," the joint statement said.
Last week, four Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine allegedly voted overwhelmingly in favor of joining Russia in pseudo-referendums organized by Russia.
Kyiv and the West call these votes sham and say they are only a pretext for the annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.
The Kremlin is set to hold a ceremony on Friday to complete the annexation and incorporate the territories into Russia.