By Oyintari Ben
According to the official website of the Russian Federation, Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed decrees recognizing the “independence” of the oblasts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.
“The sovereignty and independence of Kherson Oblast shall be recognized,” I declare, “in line with the generally acknowledged principles and norms of international law, acknowledging and upholding the principle of equality and self-determination of peoples inscribed in the United Nations Charter, and taking into account the will of the people of Kherson Oblast.”
The signing of agreements on the accession of new areas to the Russian Federation was scheduled to take place on September 30 in the Kremlin, where members of the lower house of the Federal Assembly, Russia’s parliament, were invited.
Valentina Matviyenko, the chair of Russia’s Federation Council [the upper house of the Federal Assembly, the country’s parliament], said that if the phoney referendums produced “positive” results, the Federation Council might discuss the issue of annexing the occupied Ukrainian territories to Russia on October 4.
On September 27, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized that any chance of dialogue between Kyiv and Moscow would be eliminated if Russia utilized the phoney referendums in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine as a pretext for annexing those territories.
The decision by Russia to annex portions of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhia oblasts of Ukraine following the holding of phoney referendums would constitute a violation of the UN Charter’s principles and international law, according to UN Secretary-General António Guterres.