The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation on Thursday condemned "in the strongest terms" the plan to hold so-called referenda in parts of Ukraine controlled by the Russian armed forces on their annexation to Russia.
Recalling that "the Allies do not recognise and will never recognise the illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea by Russia," NATO stressed in a statement that "sham referenda in the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions of Ukraine have no legitimacy and will be a blatant violation of the UN Charter."
"NATO allies will not recognise their illegal and illegitimate annexation," the Organisation stressed.
NATO also reaffirmed its position on the partial mobilisation decreed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Together with the referenda, the mobilisation is "a further escalation in Russia's illegal war against Ukraine," it said.
"We continue to reject Russia's irresponsible nuclear rhetoric," NATO added. Russia bears full responsibility for the war." It must immediately end the war and withdraw from Ukraine, the alliance stressed.
NATO also reiterated that it remained committed to providing political and practical support to Ukraine.
A few days ago, the authorities installed by Moscow in four regions of Ukraine - Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson - announced the urgent holding on 23 and 27 September of annexation "referendums" by Russia.