The US and NATO on Tuesday condemned Kremlin-staged “referendums” in eastern Ukraine as the voting concluded.
Early results of Russian-backed “referendums” which could lead to 15% of Ukraine’s territory being annexed, showed overwhelming majorities of residents in favour of joining Russia, Russian state news agency RIA said.
The vote, which Kyiv and its allies dismissed as a sham were staged in Donetsk and Luhansk in the east and Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in the south.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the the West will “never recognize” the pro-annexation votes, and added that the US “will impose additional swift and severe costs on Russia” for holding the referendums.
NATO chief: ‘These lands are Ukraine’
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said in a tweet that he spoke with…