SINGAPORE: Singapore said on Saturday (Oct 1) that Russia's decision to formally annex four Ukrainian regions violates international law and the UN Charter.
Russian President Vladimir Putin proclaimed the annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in a grand ceremony in Moscow on Friday.
During his address to Russia's political elite, Putin said that the move, which has been condemned by the West, is irreversible and urged Ukraine to negotiate a surrender.
He signalled that he was ready to continue what he called a battle for a "greater historical Russia", slammed the West as out to destroy Russia and accused Washington and its allies of blowing up the Nord Stream gas pipelines.
“The decision by the Russian Federation to formally annex the occupied Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson violates international law and the UN Charter," said Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Saturday.
"The sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected.”
The proclamation of Russian rule over 15 per cent of Ukraine - the biggest annexation in Europe since World War II - came after referendums that were denounced by Kyiv and Western governments as illegal and coercive.
In response, the United States on Friday imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia, targeting hundreds of people and companies, including those in Russia's military-industrial complex and lawmakers.
NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that its allies "do not and will not recognise any of this territory as part of Russia".
"We call on all states to reject Russia's blatant attempts at territorial conquest These lands are Ukraine," he added.
Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy said he is only ready for peace talks if and when Russia has a new president. Ukraine has also submitted a fast-track application to join the NATO military alliance.
"Clearly, with this Russian president, it is impossible. He does not know what dignity and honesty are. Therefore, we are ready for a dialogue with Russia, but with another president of Russia," Zelenskyy said.
He added, however, that Kyiv remains committed to the idea of co-existence with Russia "on equal, honest, dignified and fair conditions".