NATO condemns Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian regions: ‘This land grab is illegal and illegitimate’

At a press conference on Friday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian regions “illegal and illegitimate,” and said the alliance would not recognize the territories as a part of Russia. “These lands are Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said.

Video Transcript

JENS STOLTENBERG: President Putin has now claimed four more regions of Ukraine as part of Russia. This is the largest attempted annexation of European territory by force since the Second World War. Another 15% of Ukraine's territory-- an area roughly the size of Portugal-- 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. We call on all states to reject Russia's blatant attempts at territorial conquest.

These lands are Ukraine. Donetsk is Ukraine. Luhansk is Ukraine. Kherson is Ukraine. Zaporizhzhia is Ukraine, just like Crimea is Ukraine.