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Russia annexing parts of Ukraine, Belize condemns

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Posted: Thursday, October 6, 2022. 1:15 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Russian Federation has signed into law the annexation of up to 18 percent of territory belonging to Ukraine, some of which its forces do not control and are in fact retreating in some areas, per Reuters.

Pushing ahead with Europe’s biggest annexation since World War Two, Moscow is laying claim to 22 percent of Ukraine if Crimea, which it annexed in 2014, is included, though it has yet to spell out where all of the borders will be located and its own troops have been forced to retreat on two fronts.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s signature was the final stage in the legal process to annex Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine and Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in the south.

Many have condemned the action including Belize, as reiterated by Minister of Foreign Affairs Eamon Courtenay this week. He told reporters that when a vote happens in the General Assembly on a resolution previously vetoed by the United Nations Security Council, Belize will be voting in favour.

According to Courtenay, the invasion sets an intolerable precedent that Guatemala, for instance, could take advantage of, and that others may be preparing to: “That invasion violates so many norms of international law. It also threatens international security. It creates a precedent that Belize [which] is claimed by another country cannot compromise on – but even not only talking about ourselves; internationally, if Russia is allowed to get away with this, believe me, there are other countries that are looking on and are getting ready to do the same thing. If the international community is ineffective and ensuring that the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine are returned and restored, we have a fundamental problem in the international community; and so Belize is on the right side of history on this issue; we are on the right side of the law of this issue, we are on the right side of the facts of this issue, and we feel very strongly about it, and we will continue to advocate, every occasion that we get, to condemn Russia’s actions and to call for a cessation of hostilities, the withdrawal of all troops and the return of all territory to Ukraine.”

Kyiv says it will never accept an illegal imperial-style land grab and has recaptured hundreds of thousands of square miles of its own territory in recent weeks.

The West has imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia and European Union ambassadors on Wednesday agreed on a new package to punish it for the annexation plan, the Czech EU presidency said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday night that his military had taken back dozens of towns in regions in the south and east that Russia has declared annexed. Reuters could not independently verify his statements.

 

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