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US to introduce UN Security Council resolution condemning Russia over referendums in Ukraine

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield testifies before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on June 08, 2022 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield will present a resolution at the United Nations Security Council denouncing referendums in the Donbass republics and two other regions in Ukraine, according to a US official.

The resolution, to be introduced jointly with Albania on Tuesday, will call on member states not to recognize any altered status of Ukraine and also obligate Russia to withdraw its troops from its neighbor, the official said, according to Reuters.

Russia is likely to veto the resolution.

But Washington could also go to the UN General Assembly to send a message, the official added.

Earlier, US President Joe Biden said Washington will “never recognize” the referendums.

Biden threatened that the US and its allies will seek to impose “severe economic costs” on Russia over the votes.

Voting was held in several regions of Ukraine for the second day of a referendum where residents will decide whether they want to join the Russian Federation.

Moscow began the referendum on Friday in the eastern areas of Donetsk and Lugansk, and Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in the south.

Preliminary results are coming in from polling stations on Russian territory, where refugees and diplomatic corps were allowed to vote.

According to election officials, counting has already begun at a number of polling stations in the territory, and the final results may be known by Wednesday morning, the TASS News Agency reported Tuesday.

Authorities in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia showed an initial 87 and 92 percent backing for joining Russia.

Election officials in Moscow also said voters had overwhelmingly backed the move.

Biden on Friday condemned the referendums on joining Russia as “a sham.”

They are “a false pretext to try to annex parts of Ukraine by force in flagrant violation of international law, including the United Nations Charter,” his statement read.

The US president vowed to “work with our allies and partners to impose additional swift and severe economic costs on Russia.”

He added that the US would “continue to support the Ukrainian people and provide them with security assistance” to fight off Russian troops.

The Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow intends to incorporate the regions into the Russian Federation. Asked how long the recognition process would take, Peskov said he was “convinced that it will be quick enough.”

Polling stations were also set up in Moscow for residents of those regions currently living in Russia.

The referendum was organized after Kiev recaptured large parts in the northeast in a counteroffensive earlier this month.

President Vladimir Putin has said Moscow will heed the will of the residents. The referendum follows his order of a partial military mobilization, which could add as many as 300,000 Russian conscripts to the battlefield in Ukraine.

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