Kazakhstan says it won't recognise referendums in eastern Ukraine

Members of an electoral commission wait for voters near a destroyed residential building on the third day of a referendum on the joining of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) to Russia, in Mariupol, Ukraine September 25, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

ALMATY, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan, one of Russia's close ex-Soviet partners, will not recognise the possible annexation of Ukraine's eastern regions by Russia through referendums held there, the Central Asian nation's foreign ministry said on Monday.

Voting took place in four Ukrainian regions mostly held by Russian forces, the start of a plan by President Vladimir Putin to annex a big chunk of Ukraine in what the West says is violation of international law that significantly escalates war in the country. Russia calls its actions in Ukraine "a special military operation". read more

"As for the holding of referendums ... Kazakhstan proceeds from the principles of territorial integrity of states, their sovereign equivalence and peaceful coexistence," ministry spokesman Aibek Smadiyarov said.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has repeatedly called for the resolution of the Ukrainian conflict in line with the United Nations charter.

"We reconfirm our readiness to provide all possible assistance to the establishment of a political dialogue," Smadiyarov said. "At the same time, our country believes that maintaining stability at either regional or global level is the most important goal."

Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

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