A Kremlin spokesman said the process “will happen very soon” if residents of four Ukrainian provinces support joining Russia.
At a press conference on September 23, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the process of joining the self-proclaimed republics of the Donbas region and two other Russian provinces to Russia. Ukraine If residents here vote for the move, “it will happen very quickly”.
Peskov did not specify how long it would take to annex Russian-controlled areas in the four Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson.
When asked about joining the program RussiaThis, Peskov said, “certainly requires the decision of the Russian parliament and the Russian president, as well as the signing of the necessary documents”. “There will be a series of procedures and everything will be done on time in accordance with the current law,” Peskov said.
A Kremlin spokesman said that if the merger process was completed, Russian law would apply to the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions.
Asked whether any attempt by Ukraine to retake these areas after annexation would be viewed by Russia as an attack on its territory, Peskov replied “of course.”
Ukraine has yet to comment on the Kremlin spokesman’s report.
Voting places for the annexation of territories to Russia in Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson Oblasts start to open September 23 to September 27 at 8:00 am (12:00 Hanoi time).
Russian-appointed officials in Zaporozhye province announced that 750,000 people would vote, while Kherson province gave the same number. Representatives calling themselves the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said they had printed 1.5 million votes.
Security in the four breakaway areas is tight because they fear an ambush by Ukrainian troops. Officials in Kherson and Zaporozhye said local police and Russian military personnel would be present at polling places.
The Ukrainian government has criticized the referendums as a staged referendum, insisting that there will be no change in the country’s sovereignty and that the military “has every right to liberate the territory and will continue to do so”. Ukraine also believes the referendum will undermine the chances of peace talks with Russia.
Western countries, including the United States, and the NATO military alliance have strongly criticized the plan and said they do not recognize its results. “The fake referendum is an affront to the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity that underlie the international system,” said US National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan.
At the same time, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that annexation of Russia is a matter for the people of Ukraine’s provinces to decide for themselves. Many senior Russian officials expressed support for the move.
Russia controls most of Luhansk, Kherson, 73% of Zaporozhye and 60% of Donetsk. As of January, there were about 1.4 million in Luhansk, 2.2 million in Donetsk, more than 1 million in Kherson and 1.6 million in Zaporozhye. When the war broke out, many evacuated to other parts of the country and abroad.
Nguyen Jin (follow TASS, CNN)