Kyiv: Kyiv will not be able to negotiate with Russia after Moscow held annexation “referendums” in four occupied Ukrainian regions, President Volodymyr Zelensky told the United Nations General Assembly.
“Russia’s recognition of the pseudo-referendums as ‘normal’, implementation of the so-called Crimean scenario, and yet another attempt to annex Ukrainian territory mean that there is nothing to talk about with (the) current Russian president,” he said in a video message at a meeting of the UN security council.
“In front of the eyes of the whole world, Russia is conducting an outright farce called a ‘referendum’ on the occupied territory of Ukraine,” he said.
“People are forced to fill out some papers for a TV picture under the muzzles of machine guns…The figures of the alleged results of the pseudo-referendum were drawn in advance,” he said.
Zelensky added that “threats to use nuclear weapons have become a constant narrative of Russian officials and propagandists”.
Although Ukraine and the United States have universally dismissed the referendums as “a sham,” and the polls do not abide by international law, Russia is likely to declare the official annexation of a total of 15 percent of Ukrainian territory.
This process was similar to when Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. A referendum was organized, in which 97 percent of the votes were in favor of joining Russia.