UNITED NATIONS - Russia anticipated annexation of four occupied regions of Ukraine represents what would be a “dangerous escalation” in the seven-month war, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said. “In this moment of peril, I must underscore my duty as Secretary-General to uphold the Charter of the United Nations,” he told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York on Thursday.
His comments came shortly after the Kremlin announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin would sign agreements on Friday to annex the occupied regions of the self-declared Donetsk Republic and Luhansk Republic, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson. The development follows recent so-called referendums where residents of these regions took part in a voting process - that the UN political affairs chief said on Tuesday could not be regarded as legal - on whether they wanted to become part of the Russia.
“Any decision to proceed with the annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine would have no legal value and deserves to be condemned,” Guterres told reporters. “Any decision by Russia to go forward will further jeopardize the prospects for peace.” “It will prolong the dramatic impacts on the global economy, especially in developing countries, and hinder our ability to deliver life-saving aid across Ukraine and beyond,” he added.
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