The leaders of the EU's 27 member states "firmly reject and unequivocally condemn the illegal annexation by Russia of Ukraine's Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions," which is "null and void and cannot produce any legal effect whatsoever," the European Council said on Friday.
“By wilfully undermining the rules-based international order and blatantly violating the fundamental rights of Ukraine to independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, core principles as enshrined in the UN Charter and international law, Russia is putting global security at risk,” the members of the Council said in a statement.
“We do not and will never recognise the illegal ‘referenda’ that Russia has engineered as a pretext for this further violation of Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, nor their falsified and illegal results”, the statement said.
“Crimea, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, and Luhansk are Ukraine. We call on all States and international organisations to unequivocally reject this illegal annexation,” it added.
The leaders said they “are unwavering in our support” to Ukraine and its people, which has the right to “liberate occupied territories within its internationally recognised borders.”
“The nuclear threats made by the Kremlin, the military mobilisation and the strategy of seeking to falsely present Ukraine’s territory as Russia’s and purporting that the war may now be taking place on Russia’s territory will not shake our resolve,” the statement said.
The leaders “will strengthen our restrictive measures” against Russia and “continue to provide strong economic, military, social and financial support to Ukraine.”