Kazakhstan, despite being a close ally of Russia, said it would not approve referendums organized by the Kremlin in four occupied regions of Ukraine aimed at annexing territories to Russia.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Aybek Smazyarov said on Monday that Kazakhstan’s stance on the referendum was consistent with “the principles of territorial integrity, sovereign equivalence and peaceful coexistence of the state.”
“We reaffirm our readiness to provide all possible assistance in establishing political dialogue,” he said. “At the same time, our country considers maintaining stability at the regional and global level to be the most important goal.”
Referendums in four regions of eastern Ukraine aimed at annexing territories that Russia has armedly occupied since its February invasion lasted until the fourth day on 26 September.
By annexing the regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia to Russia, Moscow can portray an attack to retake them as an attack on Russia itself and a warning to Ukraine and its Western allies. rice field.
Following its recent battlefield defeats, Ukraine and its allies dismissed the referendum as a hoax to justify escalating war and a mobilization drive by Moscow.
Kazakhstan’s President Kassim Jomart Tokayev has repeatedly called for a resolution of the Ukraine conflict in line with the UN Charter.
Tokayev said in June that Kazakhstan would not recognize the self-proclaimed rebel republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Anadolu Agency report. These two regions of hers were held by Russian-backed separatists seeking secession from Ukraine.
“If self-determination were exercised worldwide, the current membership of the United Nations would go from 193 to over 600. Of course, it would be chaos,” Tokayev said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Tokayev said Kazakhstan does not recognize Taiwan, Kosovo, South Ossetia, or Abkhazia for this reason, and the same principle applies to subnational territories such as Luhansk and Donetsk.
Russia has recognized Luhansk and Donetsk as independent states since the beginning of the February invasion, and now claims: secure their territory It is the main objective of that “special military operation”.
Jack Phillips and Reuters contributed to this report.