Serbia will not recognize the results of referendums in the Donbas republics and Moscow-held southern Ukrainian territories on joining Russia, Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic has said.
“On the one hand, our commitment to the principles and rules of international law, the Charter of the United Nations, is crucial,” Selakovic told reporters on Sunday.
“And, on the other hand, it would be completely contrary to our state and national interests, contrary to our policy of respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, and to the attachment to the principle of the inviolability of borders.”
The Kherson region and large parts of the neighboring Zaporozhye region were seized by Russian troops after Moscow launched its military operation in the neighboring country on February 24. Russia recognized the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) this year. Both republics broke away from Ukraine following the 2014 coup in Kyiv.
Ukraine and the West rejected the referendum on joining Russia as illegal. Serbia, which has close historical ties with Russia and is heavily dependent on its energy supplies, has refused to impose sanctions on Moscow or send arms to Ukraine.
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Belgrade also refuses to recognize the independence of Kosovo, a predominantly Albanian region whose authorities seceded from Serbia in 2008. A UN mission has been established in Kosovo and peacekeepers from the NATO were deployed in the region following an Albanian insurgency and NATO’s bombing campaign in Serbia in 1999. .
The United States and most Western countries recognize Kosovo as an independent state, while countries like Russia, China and India consider it part of Serbia.
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