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Monday, 05 December 2022
EU to make Russia pay ‘hefty price’ for annexation, Zelensky warns of harsh response
European Commission-Brussels/Pixabay

An EU official said on Thursday (Sep 29), the European Union is ready to make the Kremlin pay a "hefty price" for the latest escalation of the conflict in Ukraine by announcing the annexation of four regions.

Early Thursday (Sep 29), Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that President Vladimir Putin will hold a signing ceremony in the Kremlin on Friday (Sep 30) to add four territories of Ukraine into Russia.

Following the signing ceremonies in the Kremlin, Putin will give a major speech and will meet with Moscow-appointed administrators of the Ukrainian regions, the Kremlin said.

The European Union "will not accept these sham referendums organized by Russia in Ukraine and will never accept any annexation of territory or any land by Russia," Dana Spinant, the European Commission's deputy chief spokesperson, told a daily news briefing.

Referring to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell's recent announcement on the bloc's eighth sanctions package against Russia, she asserted that the EU is "ready to make the Kremlin (pay) a hefty price for this new escalation."

Kharkiv. Saltivka. A large and peaceful residential area. It was like that until Russia came. But no missile will bring the terrorist state closer to its goal. Instead, each missile brings Russia closer to international isolation, economic degradation, and historical condemnation - Володимир Зеленський @ZelenskyyUa - Ukraine government official Twitter account

The EU also asked UN nations to follow its example and not recognize this "illegal" annexation, "as Russia is stepping up from its escalation to actually grabbing territories from Ukraine," added Peter Stano, lead spokesperson on foreign affairs.

President Volodymyr Zelensky issued a new warning to Russia of a "very harsh" response by Ukraine if Moscow annexes four Ukrainian regions following what Kyiv and the West say were sham referendums held by Russia at gunpoint.

Russia to annex four occupied Ukraine regions on Friday, Putin to attencd ceremony

A statement issued by Zelensky's office after a telephone call with Italy's prime minister did not refer to a ceremony on Friday in which President Vladimir Putin will sign documents proclaiming Russia's annexation of four Ukrainian regions.

"They (the votes) are worthless and do not change reality. The territorial integrity of Ukraine will be restored. And our reaction to recognition of the results by Russia will be very harsh," Zelensky said.

It was not immediately clear whether Zelensky spoke to Prime Minister Mario Draghi before or after the Kremlin announced Friday's ceremony, according to Reuters.

Kazakhstan says it won’t recognize referendums in eastern Ukraine

The annexation referendums in Russian-occupied Ukraine began on Friday September 23, and it ended on Tuesday September 27.

The hastly arranged votes were conducted in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson Oblast and Zaporizhzhia Oblast.