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European nations condemn Russia’s recognition of separatist regions of Ukraine

Germany, Poland, Norway, Latvia and Lithuania voiced concern Monday over Russia’s recognition of Ukraine’s breakaway regions of Luhansk and Donetsk as independent states.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recognition of the separatist “people’s republics” in eastern Ukraine "willfully undoes years of efforts" in the Normandy Format and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

“We will respond to this breach of international law & coordinate with our partners,” Baerbock said on Twitter.

“Recognition of two self-proclaimed 'republics' amounts to rejection of dialogue and blatant violation of international law,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Twitter.

“It is an act of aggression against Ukraine that must be met with unequivocal response & immediate sanctions. It is the only language Putin understands,” Morawiecki said, calling for an urgent meeting of the European Council to discuss the matter.

Norway also condemned Russia’s decision to recognize the self-proclaimed “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry said on Twitter.

“This is a further violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and directly contradicts the spirit and the letter of the Minsk agreements,” it added.

Utterly condemning Russia’s actions, Latvia urged the international community to take the strongest possible measures to stop Russia’s aggression and offer assistance to Ukraine.

“In a gross violation of international law, under a fabricated pretext, and by spreading false information, Russia seeks to induce a change in Ukraine’s political leadership and foreign policy course by violent means,” said a statement by the Latvian Foreign Ministry.


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