Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Referendums which back Russian rule in Ukraine a sham – Coveney

Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said referendums which reportedly endorse Russian rule in parts of Ukraine are a sham (Niall Carson/PA)
Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said referendums which reportedly endorse Russian rule in parts of Ukraine are a sham (Niall Carson/PA)

Referendums which reportedly endorse Russian rule in parts of Ukraine are a “sham”, Irish Foreign Affairs minister Simon Coveney has said.

Mr Coveney said Ireland would not recognise the results of the votes which he described as an attempt by Russia to gain control of parts of Ukraine’s sovereign territory.

Pro-Russian leaders in four occupied regions of Ukraine said the votes show the vast majority of people support the annexation of the areas by Russia.

However, the referendums have widely been condemned as illegitimate.

Speaking during a visit to Northern Ireland, Mr Coveney said: “We think the process has been a sham.

“We think it has been a rushed effort by Russia to try to gain control of parts of Ukraine’s sovereign territory.

“We will not recognise the results of referendums that we don’t believe truly reflect what people in those parts of Ukraine actually want.”

He added: “This has been a sham process.

“It is an attempt by Russia to annex part of their neighbour’s territory so that they could say if Ukraine made progress militarily into regaining parts of their own territory from Russian forces that that is encroaching on Russian territory.

“Therefore that gives them a licence to do other more horrific things than they have already done.

“We will not recognise this process as in any way legitimate or legally sound.

“We will continue to support Ukraine in their efforts to free their land and their own people from Russian aggression.”

Brexit
Simon Coveney spoke following a meeting with Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris in Co Down (Niall Carson/PA)

According to Russia-installed election officials, 93% of the ballots cast in the Zaporizhzhia region supported annexation, as did 87% in the Kherson region, 98% in the Luhansk region and 99% in Donetsk.

Russian-installed officials in those occupied regions said on Wednesday they would ask President Vladimir Putin to incorporate them into Russia.

Western countries, however, have dismissed the ballots as a meaningless pretence staged by Moscow in an attempt to legitimise its invasion of Ukraine launched on February 24.