Israel, EU, NATO will not recognize the annexation of Ukrainian regions

World leaders react to the annexation of four Ukrainian territories by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

 Ceremony to declare Russia's annexation of four Ukrainian territories held in Moscow, Friday September 30, 2022 (photo credit: SPUTNIK/GRIGORY SYSOYEV/REUTERS)
Ceremony to declare Russia's annexation of four Ukrainian territories held in Moscow, Friday September 30, 2022

Leaders and Governments worldwide responded to Russia's official declaration of the annexation of the Ukrainian territories of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry stated that Israel "supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine," and will not recognize the annexation of the four provinces by Russia. the statement further said that Israel has "repeated this position many times, including in recent days."

The foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) countries condemned Russia's proclaimed annexation as a "new low point" in the war and vowed to take further action against Moscow.

"We will never recognise these purported annexations, nor the sham 'referenda' conducted at gunpoint," said a statement from the top diplomats of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

"We will impose further economic costs on Russia, and on individuals and entities - inside and outside of Russia - that provide political or economic support to these violations of international law," it added.

United States

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg discussed concerns over Russia's attempted annexation of Ukraine territory and the apparent sabotage of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline on Friday, the White House said in a statement.

"We will rally the international community to both denounce these moves and to hold Russia accountable. We will continue to provide Ukraine with the equipment it needs to defend itself, undeterred by Russia’s brazen effort to redraw the borders of its neighbor," US President Joe Biden said in a statement.

Biden further said that Russian President Vladimir Putin's annexation of parts of Ukraine are a sign he is struggling and warned Russia that the United States will defend "every inch" of NATO territory.

Biden said the United States and its allies will not be intimidated by Putin.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States will act at the UN Security Council on Friday to hold Russia accountable for Moscow's proclaimed annexation of parts of Ukraine. A Security Council meeting is scheduled for 3pm local time on Friday.


NATO accused Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday of provoking "the most serious escalation" of the war in Ukraine since it began, but said he would not succeed in deterring the alliance from supporting Kyiv.

"We have the combination of the mobilization in Russia, combined with the reckless, dangerous nuclear rhetoric, and then today's illegal annexation, or attempt to annex parts of Ukraine," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.

"Together this is the most serious escalation of the conflict since the start and the aim of President Putin is to deter us from supporting Ukraine. But he will not succeed in that," he told a news conference.

Stoltenberg said Russia's move was "the largest attempted annexation of European territory by force since the Second World War," adding that an area roughly the size of Portugal had been "illegally seized by Russia at gunpoint."

"The sham referendums were engineered in Moscow and imposed on Ukraine in total violation of international law. This land grab is illegal and illegitimate.

"NATO allies do not and will not recognize any of this territory as part of Russia," he added. "We call on all states to reject Russia's blatant attempts at territorial conquest These lands are Ukraine."

European Union

The European Union said it firmly condemned the annexation by Russia of occupied Ukraine regions, adding it would never recognize "illegal" referendums held there and would tighten its sanctions to increase pressure on Moscow.

The European Council, which groups the 27 EU member states, said in a statement on behalf of those members that Russia's willful undermining of the international order was putting global security at risk.

"We do not and will never recognize the illegal 'referenda' that Russia has engineered as a pretext for this further violation of Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, nor their falsified and illegal results," the statement said.

"We do not and will never recognize the illegal 'referenda' that Russia has engineered as a pretext for this further violation of Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, nor their falsified and illegal results."

European Council statement

"We will strengthen our restrictive measures countering Russia's illegal actions. They will further increase pressure on Russia to end its war of aggression," it said.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine has applied for NATO membership in a video address on Friday as a response to Russia's annexation of Ukrainian territory.

"Today, Ukraine submits an application to make our NATO membership de jure. (Our application) would be a formal solidifying of the real state of things we've already achieved."

Zelensky said that Ukraine is ready for peace talks with Russia but with a different Russian president.

"It was our state that repeatedly offered Russia to agree on coexistence on equal, honest, dignified, and fair terms. It is obvious that this is impossible with this Russian president. He does not know what dignity and honesty are. Therefore, we are ready for a dialogue with Russia, but with another president," Zelensky said.


"I strongly condemn Russia's illegal annexation of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhya and Kherson. This is a serious violation of international law and of Ukrainian sovereignty," French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement.

"France opposes this and will continue to stand alongside Ukraine to confront Russian aggression and allow Ukraine to recover its full sovereignty over all of its territory."


"Putin cannot be allowed to alter international borders using brute force. We will ensure he loses this illegal war," British Prime Minister Liz Truss said in a statement.

"Putin has, once again, acted in violation of international law with clear disregard for the lives of the Ukrainian people he claims to represent."

"The UK will never ignore the sovereign will of those people and we will never accept the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia as anything other than Ukrainian territory."

Former UK prime minister Boris Johnson took to twitter to slam the "disgraceful" speech. "Vladimir Putin your speech is a fraud and a disgrace. The world must never accept your sham referendums or your cruel and illegal attempt to colonize Ukraine. We stand with the people of Ukraine and will support them without flinching until their country is whole and free.


Poland condemns the signature of treaties by Russian President Vladimir Putin to annex four Ukrainian regions, the foreign ministry said as it called for an increase in military support for Ukraine and more sanctions.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemns in the strongest terms the illegal acts of "recognition of independence" and "incorporation" into the Russian Federation of parts of Ukraine's regions of Kherson, Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia," the ministry said in a statement.


Russian President Vladimir Putin "once again demonstrates his Soviet-style, neo-imperialist vision that threatens the security of the entire European continent," Italy's upcoming Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said in a statement.


Greece condemns the annexation of Russian-occupied Ukrainian regions by Russia, its foreign ministry said on Friday.

"The decision is illegal as it violates blatantly international law and it is void," the Greek foreign ministry said in a statement.

The Netherlands

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the Netherlands will not accept Russia's annexation of Ukrainian regions, announced by President Vladimir Putin on Friday.

"The Netherlands will never recognize this annexation, just as we don't recognize the annexation of Crimea," Rutte told journalists in The Hague.

South Korea

South Korea said on Saturday it does not recognize Russia's declared annexation of parts of Ukraine or what Moscow called referendums that took place in those areas.

Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial security and independence must be protected, South Korea's foreign ministry spokesperson said in a statement.

Reuters contributed to this report.