World leaders condemn Putin for ‘unacceptable’ Ukraine move

World leaders call for upholding Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty and warn of increasing risk of war

Arpan Rai
Tuesday 22 February 2022 12:31 GMT
UK to announce new sanctions on Russia, Liz Truss says
Leer en Español

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Vladimir Putin’s decision to order the military into the separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk held by rebels in eastern Ukraine prompted a wave of denunciation from global leaders, with many calling for action.

Several called for the need to stand by Ukraine’s sovereignty and territory, while many warned against full-out war.

“A military clash against the wishes of the international community would bring huge ramifications in the politics and economies of not only Europe, but to the whole world,” South Korean president Moon Jae-in said.

He added that Kiev’s sovereignty and territory must be respected.

Kenya issued one of the sharpest condemnations against Russian actions. The country’s envoy, pointing out that the UN Security Council had met on late Monday night, said a multilateral world order lay “on its deathbed tonight”.

Kenya is currently a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

“The territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine stands breached. The charter of the United Nations continues to wilt under the relentless assault of the powerful,” Martin Kimani, the country’s envoy to the UN, said in a statement.

“In one moment it is invoked with reverence by the very same countries who then turn their backs on it in pursuit of objectives diametrically opposed to international peace and security,” it added.

“Multilateralism lies on its deathbed tonight. It has been assaulted, as it has been by other powerful states in the recent past.”

Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, said Mr Putin’s actions were “unacceptable” and has backed Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty.

Prime minister Fumio Kishida said his administration would discuss possible “severe actions”, apart from the sanctions being deliberated by the international community and that the developments in the region were being watched with grave concern.

New Zealand sternly rejected Russia’s move as well. Foreign minister Nanaia Mahuta said there was no basis under international law for Mr Putin to declare Donetsk and Luhansk independent.

Calling for urgent diplomatic efforts to find a peaceful resolution, Ms Mahuta said: “We are concerned that this is a calculated act by President Putin to create a pretext for invasion, which would be a clear act of aggression.”

Russia should “unconditionally withdraw” from Ukrainian territory and stop threatening its neighbours, said Australian prime minister Scott Morrison, warning that the country will move very quickly to punish Russia.

Russia’s actions, Mr Morrison said, were “unacceptable; unprovoked and unwarranted”.

Nato’s Turkey said Russia’s decision was “unacceptable”.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in