Russia’s Ukraine referenda a sham

Aotearoa New Zealand does not recognise the results of the sham referenda in Russia-occupied regions of Ukraine, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta says. 

“These so-called referenda were not free or fair, and they very clearly were not held in accordance with democratic principles,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

“Instead, they were hastily organised under the threat of force, and Aotearoa New Zealand does not recognise the results.

“Russia has only one course of action available to it; cease immediately its illegal invasion of Ukraine, withdraw its troops, and return to diplomatic negotiations to resolve this conflict.

“Aotearoa New Zealand remains in solidarity with Ukraine in defence of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the rules-based international system

“This war which has inflicted immense suffering on Ukraine and displaced millions of its civilians.

“Aotearoa New Zealand also stands firmly against the escalation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including mobilisation of Russian citizens.  Escalation flies in the face of Russia’s lie that they are there to liberate Ukraine,” Nanaia Mahuta said.