UN chief warns of ‘dangerous escalation’ in event of Russian annexation of Ukraine regions

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 30 (APP): Russia anticipated annexation of four occupied regions of Ukraine represents what would be a “dangerous escalation” in the seven-month war, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said.
“In this moment of peril, I must underscore my duty as Secretary-General to uphold the Charter of the United Nations,”

he told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York on Thursday.

His comments came shortly after the Kremlin announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin would sign agreements on Friday to annex the occupied regions of the self-declared Donetsk Republic and Luhansk Republic, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson.

The development follows recent so-called referendums where residents of these regions took part in a voting process – that the UN political affairs chief said on Tuesday could not be regarded as legal – on whether they wanted to become part of the Russia.
“Any decision to proceed with the annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine would have no legal value and deserves to be condemned,” Guterres told reporters. “Any decision by Russia to go forward will further jeopardize the prospects for peace.”

“It will prolong the dramatic impacts on the global economy, especially in developing countries, and hinder our ability to deliver life-saving aid across Ukraine and beyond,” he added.

The Secretary-General stressed that as one of the five permanent members of the Security Council, Russia “shares a particular responsibility” to respect the UN Charter.
The Russian move “cannot be reconciled with the international legal framework and stands against everything the international community is meant to stand for,” he added.
“It flouts the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations.

It is a dangerous escalation.It has no place in the modern world.It must not be accepted.”

Guterres underlined the UN’s unequivocal commitment to the sovereignty, unity, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

He said “the so-called referenda – conducted during active armed conflict, in occupied areas,, and outside Ukraine’s legal and constitutional framework – cannot be called a genuine expression of the popular will.”

“Any decision by Russia to go forward will further jeopardize the prospects for peace. It will prolong the dramatic impacts on the global economy, especially developing countries and hinder our ability to deliver life-saving aid across Ukraine and beyond,” he said.

“It is high time to step back from the brink.Now more than ever, we must work together to end this devastating and senseless war and uphold the UN Charter and international law.”