West condemns Putin’s land seize as Ukraine fast-tracks Nato bid

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estern leaders have united in condemnation of Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine land-grab as President Zelensky hit again with a shock utility to affix Nato.

The Russian chief signed treaties on Friday for an unlawful annexation of occupied Ukrainian territory in a pointy escalation of his seven-month invasion.

At a Kremlin ceremony speech full of anti-West rhetoric, Putin issued a thinly veiled nuclear menace vowing to guard the newly annexed areas of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia by “all accessible means”.

Ukraine’s chief instantly countered with a signing ceremony of his personal, releasing video of him placing pen to papers that he stated have been a proper Nato membership request.

Putin’s land-grab and President Zelensky’s “accelerated” Nato membership utility despatched the 2 leaders dashing even quicker on a collision course that’s cranking up fears of a full-blown battle between Russia and the West.

Putin with the leaders of the 4 annexed areas

/ AP

“De facto, we now have already confirmed compatibility with alliance requirements. They’re actual for Ukraine – actual on the battlefield and in all features of our interplay,” Mr Zelensky stated.

“We belief one another, we assist one another, and we shield one another. That is the alliance.”

Mr Zelensky added: “Ukraine is prepared for dialogue with Russia, however with a special Russian president.”

Putin’s transfer prompted a flurry of sanctions from western nations, with the US asserting sanctions on a whole bunch of people and corporations.

President Joe Biden stated: “Make no mistake: These actions don’t have any legitimacy.”

Nato Secretary-Common Jens Stoltenberg known as the annexations “the most important tried annexation of European territory by pressure for the reason that Second World Battle.”

“Putin has mobilised a whole bunch of 1000’s of extra troops, engaged in irresponsible nuclear sabre-rattling and now illegally annexed extra Ukrainian territory,” he instructed a press convention.

AP

“Collectively, this represents probably the most critical escalation for the reason that begin of the battle.”

He stated Nato reaffirmed its “unwavering help” for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and wouldn’t be deterred by Putin from supporting the nation in defending itself towards Russia.

The European Union responded with a joint assertion rejecting and condemning “the unlawful annexation” of the 4 areas.

The EU’s 27 member states stated they may by no means recognise the unlawful referendums that Russia organised “as a pretext for this additional violation of Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

In a Kremlin ceremony on the ornate St George’s Corridor to herald the annexation of the occupied elements of Ukraine, Mr Putin accused the West of fuelling the hostilities as a part of what he stated is a plan to show Russia right into a “colony” and a “crowd of slaves”.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky

/ AFP PHOTO / Ukrainian presidential press-service

The hardening of his place, in a battle that that has killed and wounded tens of 1000’s of individuals, cranked up tensions already at ranges unseen for the reason that Chilly Battle.

The Kremlin ceremony got here three days after the completion in occupied areas of Moscow-orchestrated “referendums” on becoming a member of Russia that have been dismissed by Kyiv and the West as a bare-faced land-grab held at gunpoint and primarily based on lies.

However Putin insisted that Ukraine should deal with the Kremlin-managed votes “with respect”.

After the signing ceremony of treaties to affix Russia, Moscow-installed leaders of the occupied areas gathered round Putin and linked fingers, earlier than becoming a member of chants of “Russia! Russia!” with the viewers.

Mr Putin additionally railed on the West, reducing an indignant determine as he accused the US and its allies of in search of to destroy Russia. He stated the West acted “as a parasite” and used its monetary and technological energy “to rob all the world”.

He portrayed Russia as being on a historic mission to reclaim its post-Soviet nice energy standing and counter western domination which he stated is collapsing.

“Historical past has known as us to a battlefield to combat for our folks, for the grand historic Russia, for future generations,” he stated.

Each homes of the Kremlin-controlled Russian parliament will meet subsequent week to rubber-stamp the treaties.

The separatist Donetsk and Luhansk areas in japanese Ukraine have been backed by Moscow since declaring independence in 2014, weeks after Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

The southern Kherson area and a part of neighbouring Zaporizhzhia have been captured by Russia quickly after Mr Putin despatched troops into Ukraine on February 24.


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