Club de Madrid strongly condemns the illegal and sham referenda conducted by Russia in the partially occupied provinces of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia in Ukraine. The exercise, through which Russian President Vladimir Putin has sought political validation for the annexation of Ukrainian sovereign territory, is a violation of international law and a mockery of any serious democratic process.
We fully support the declaration of the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres when he explained that these referenda were conducted in areas under Russian occupation and thus “…can’t be called a genuine expression of the popular will. Any decision by Russia to go forward will further jeopardize the prospects for peace.”
As the Secretary-General also noted, the United Nations Charter is clear: “Any annexation of a State’s territory by another State resulting from the threat or use of force is a violation of the Principles of the Charter & international law.”
The agreements signed on 30th September by Vladimir Putin and the Russian-appointed leaders of the four regions, based on the result of illegal referenda, and the consequent illegitimate annexation of Ukrainian sovereign territory, should be unambiguously rejected by all United Nations Member States and the international democratic community.
We continue defending Ukraine’s right to peace, prosperity and democracy and call on President Putin to immediately cease further escalation, especially the irresponsible nuclear rhetoric.
We stand with the people of Ukraine and with the UN Charter.
President of Club de Madrid