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Polish president says sham referenda planned by Russia in Ukraine are worthless

"(The referenda) are worth nothing – the truth is that the result is decided in the Kremlin and not by voting," Andrzej Duda told reporters during a visit to New York for the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.
JASON SZENES/PAP/EPA

Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, has said that the sham referenda organised by Russia in Ukraine are worthless and that Poland will not recognise their results.

Russian-controlled regions of eastern Ukraine announced on Tuesday plans to start voting this week to become integral parts of Russia. The referenda are planned to start on Friday in the Russian-occupied Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

“(The referenda) are worth nothing – the truth is that the result is decided in the Kremlin and not by voting,” Andrzej Duda told reporters during a visit to New York for the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

Duda also declared that, in this situation, Poland “will not recognise their results as internationally binding,” since Russia had been occupying these regions.

Duda stated that, from the democratic point of view, these referenda looked like a joke, and expressed his hope that no one in the international arena would attach any importance to them as both such actions and their results were completely unreliable.

Speaking about the possibility of the use by Russia of nuclear weapons against Ukraine, Duda said: “If Russian President Vladimir Putin dares use nuclear weapons against Ukraine during the war on its territory, this would break the world taboo and would push Russia onto the margins of society.”

“No matter what Putin says, Russia is undoubtedly the perpetrator and aggressor while Ukrainians have been defending their sovereignty, independence and their land,” Duda concluded. 


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