Tensions are once again rising as Russian President Vladimir Putin held a live address and signed documents to officially annex four regions of Ukraine during a ceremony in the Kremlin, in violation of international law amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that began seven months ago.
Putin announced the annexation of regions of Ukraine following what the West casts as “sham referenda.”
“The people have made their choice,” he began his speech according to a translation by a Financial Times reporter.
“This is the will of millions,” Putin said, declaring residents of the territories Russian citizens.
Putin vowed that Russia will now use “all available means” to guard the annexed territory in Ukraine and suggested Moscow could use any attack to defend.
U.N. Secretary General António Guterres stated on Thursday that Russia’s attempts to seize roughly 15% of Ukraine’s territory was a “clear” violation of the U.N. Charter.
“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 UN Charter and international law,” he told reporters.
Within minutes of his ceremony, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that Ukraine was officially applying for NATO membership, something that Russia is adiment that can not and will not happen.
Zelenkyy signed the application in a video address, and announced that Kyiv will not negotiate with Russia as long as Putin is in power.
Also within minutes of Putins address, Washington announced that the United States in coordination with G7 allies, is imposing yet another round of sanctions against Russia.
A Biden administration official said, is “targeting additional Russian government officials and leaders, their family members, Russian and Belarusian military officials, and defense procurement networks, including international suppliers supporting Russia’s military-industrial complex.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has previously warned that the US will “rally global opposition to Russia’s attempts at annexation, including at the United Nations.”
The White House says that National security adviser Jake Sullivan will join Jean-Pierre on Friday in the daily White House press briefing to provide details on the new round of sanctions.