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Russian Ally Kazakhstan Says It Won't Recognize Referendum Results From Ukraine.

Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman Aibek Smadiyarov

Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman Aibek Smadiyarov

ASTANA -- Kazakhstan, a close ally of Russia, will not recognize the results of so-called referendums organized by Moscow on Ukraine’s territories occupied by Russian troops.

Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman Aibek Smadiyarov said on September 26 that Astana's attitude to the ongoing referendums in parts of Ukraine's Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya regions, which are under at least the partial control of Russian troops, is based on "the principle of countries' territorial integrity."

Smadiyarov stressed that Kazakh President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev had explicitly expressed the Central Asian nation's position on the parts of Ukraine's Luhansk and Donetsk regions that have been under Russia-backed separatists' control since 2014, as well as in the districts of Ukraine's Zaporizhzhya and Kherson regions, parts of which have been under the control of occupying Russian troops since March this year.

At a June economic forum in Russia's second-largest city, St. Petersburg, Toqaev, sitting on the podium next to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, called parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk, which Moscow has recognized as the Luhansk People's Republic (LNR) and Donetsk People's Republic (DNR), as "quasi-states" that Kazakhstan will not recognize.

The referendums, which began on September 23 and run until September 27, have been condemned by Kyiv, Western leaders and the United Nations as an illegitimate, choreographed precursor to the illegal annexation of the territory by Russia.

U.S. President Joe Biden has called them a "sham" and said that Washington "will never recognize Ukrainian territory as anything other than part of Ukraine."

The move to hold the referendums came as Putin announced a partial military mobilization on September 21 amid reports of heavy personnel losses in the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine that Moscow launched in late February.

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