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NATO condemns Russia’s illegal attempts to annex Ukrainian regions

The NATO alliance condemned Russia’s attempts to annex four regions of Ukraine as “illegal and illegitimate”, calling the move “the most serious escalation” since the start of the war in Ukraine, IPN reports.

In a news conference on September 30 following Russia’s formal annexation of four Ukrainian regions, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg underlined that NATO Allies do not and will not recognize any of this territory as part of Russia. “We call on all states to reject Russia’s blatant attempts at territorial conquest. Donetsk is Ukraine, Zaporizhzhia is Ukraine, Luhansk is Ukraine, Kherson is Ukraine, just like Crimea is Ukraine,” he said.

“NATO is not party to the conflict but we provide support to Ukraine,” he emphasized.

Regarding Putin’s threats of escalating attacks if Ukraine attacks the territories that it now considers Russian, the NATO chief said that Ukraine has the right to retake Ukrainian territory occupied by Russian forces. “The illegal annexation… doesn’t change the nature of this conflict.”

The announcement that Russia now considers Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia part of its own territory was followed by an announcement from Kyiv that it was requesting accelerated membership of the NATO alliance.

The Republic of Moldova does not recognize the attempted illegal annexation of Ukrainian regions by the Russian Federation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration in a press statement noted that the Republic of Moldova reaffirms its firm support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.

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