Blinken likens Russian referenda in Ukraine to attempted 'land grab'

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to the press prior to meetings with Tajikistan Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin at the State Department in Washington, DC, U.S. September 27, 2022. Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

WASHINGTON, Sept 29 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced Russian-backed referenda in Ukraine on Thursday as an attempted land grab that is illegal and violates international law.

"The Kremlin's sham referenda are a futile effort to mask what amounts to a further attempt at a land grab in Ukraine," Blinken said in a statement. "To be clear: the results were orchestrated in Moscow and do not reflect the will of the people of Ukraine."

Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chris Reese

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