US, French observers monitoring referendum in Kherson region
The referenda have begun for the Russian-controlled areas, which are being monitored by some Western observers.
Observers from France and the United States are monitoring the courses of the referendum taking place in Kherson, according to Marina Zakharova, the spokeswoman of the local election commission.
"Foreign observers have already arrived, they are representatives of two countries - France and the United States. They expressed a desire to travel to remote areas of the Kherson region, and we provided them with such an opportunity. At the moment they are working with our voters," Zakharova told reporters.
Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson, on Tuesday, announced that they would hold referenda on the accession into the Russian federation between September 23 and September 27.
Yesterday, Thursday, NATO countries have announced their disapproval of the referenda according to a statement revealed. The statement, furthermore, wrote that NATO allies won't recognize the republics due to the "illegal and illegitimate annexation."
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg considered that the next referenda on joining Russia will be viewed as "illegitimate" and the international community should denounce them.
On Wednesday, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell threatened Russia with new sanctions in the event of referenda.
"Russia, its political leadership, and all those involved in these 'referenda' and other violations of international law in Ukraine will be held accountable, and additional restrictive measures against Russia would be considered," the statement read.
After the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics demanded help from Russia amid intensive offensives by Ukrainian troops, the Kherson Region and most of Zaporozhye region of Ukraine became controlled by Russia's military.