UK Imposes New Sanctions in Response to Russia's Sham Elections in Occupied Territories

Friday, 29 September 2023

James Cleverly, the UK Foreign Secretary, has announced further sanctions over Russia's sham elections in the occupied territories of Ukraine.

As the UK Foreign Office reports, eleven more individuals will be added to the UK sanctions list in response to Russia's attempts to use sham "elections" to legitimise its illegal control over the Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk oblasts and Crimea, which are part of Ukraine's sovereign territory.

As explained by the UK Foreign Office, the list includes organisations and Russian officials who have directly acted to undermine Ukraine and threaten its territorial integrity.

These include: Russia's Central Election Commission (CEC), the state body that organised this month's sham "elections" and last year's sham "referendums" in the illegally temporarily controlled parts of Ukraine; Natalya Budarina, CEC Secretary, one of the highest-ranking officials in the CEC; Andrei Aleksyenko, Russian proxy "head" of the sham Kherson Oblast Administration; and Marina Zakharova, Russian proxy of the sham election commission in Kherson.

"Russia’s sham elections are a transparent, futile attempt to legitimise its illegal control of sovereign Ukrainian territory. You can’t hold ‘elections’ in someone else’s country.

The UK will never recognise Russia’s claims to Ukrainian territory – Crimea, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk and Kherson are Ukraine," Cleverly stated.

This latest package of sanctions comes on the eve of a new commemorative day in Russia, declared by Russian President Putin to mark the anniversary of the annexations of Ukrainian territories, despite the fact that Russia has no legal basis for any territorial claims, the UK Foreign Office said.

The UK governmental body also emphasised that the residents of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson oblasts overwhelmingly voted for Ukraine's independence in 1991, and their ongoing resistance to Russian aggression proves their determination to remain part of an independent and sovereign Ukraine.

"These latest sanctions serve as a stark reminder of the cost of such a flagrant assault on sovereignty, democracy and equality," the message stated.

Media reports indicate that in October, the EU member states may begin discussing a new, twelfth package of sanctions against Russia over its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The new draft sanctions may include previously announced restrictions on the trade of Russian diamonds, which the Group of Seven states plan to impose.

The package may be adopted in the first half of October or announced during the EU-US summit scheduled for the same month.

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