October 5, 2022

Macron slams planned referendums in Russia-controlled regions in Ukraine


French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday dismissed planned referendums in Russian-controlled regions as a farce, saying France would not recognise their results. Meanwhile, the Russian foreign ministry accused Paris of “unacceptable” arms deliveries to Ukraine. Read about the day’s events as they unfolded on our liveblog. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).

This live page is no longer being updated. For more of our coverage of the war in Ukraine, click here.

02:52am: German Chancellor at UN: Putin must recognize he cannot win in UkraineRussian President Vladimir Putin will only give up his “imperial ambitions” that risk destroying Ukraine and Russia if he recognizes he cannot win the war, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in his first address to the United Nations General Assembly.

“This is why we will not accept any peace dictated by Russia and this is why Ukraine must be able to fend off Russia’s attack,” Scholz said.

The return of imperialism, with Putin’s war on Ukraine, was not just a disaster for Europe but for the global, rules-based peace order, the chancellor said. He called on the UN to defend this from those who would prefer a world where the “strong rule the weak”.

02:24am: Japanese Prime Minister slams Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during UN addressJapanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as destabilising the international order to its core and said the rule of law, not coercion by power, should prevail.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a conduct that tramples the philosophy and principles of the U.N. charter … It should never be tolerated,” Kishida said.

Kishida, who hails from Hiroshima, the first city to ever suffer an atomic bombing, also denounced the threat of nuclear weapons by Russia.

01:33am: US official warns of “increased consequences” if Russia were to annex parts of UkraineThere will be increased consequences if Russia were to annex parts of Ukraine, a senior US State Department official said on Tuesday, as Moscow-installed leaders in occupied areas of four Ukrainian regions planned to hold referendums on joining Russia.

“We have made clear that there will be increased consequences. We have … a number of tools,” the official said.

00:30am: Zelensky hails Western support against Russia’s planned referendumsUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed Western allies for their condemnation of plans by authorities in pro-Moscow regions of Ukraine to hold referendums on joining Russia

“I thank all the friends and partners of Ukraine for their massive and firm condemnation of Russia’s intentions to organise yet more pseudo-referendums,” he said in his daily address.

00:15am: Africa Union leader warns of pressure to choose sides in UkraineAfrican Union chairperson Macky Sall said Tuesday that Africa “does not want to be the breeding ground of a new Cold War,” alluding to the pressure mounting on the continent’s leaders to choose sides over the war in Ukraine.

Many African countries depend heavily on grain imports from Russia and Ukraine. Amid market shortages, Russia’s foreign minister has sought to portray the West as the villain, blaming it for rising food prices. Western leaders, meanwhile, have accused the Kremlin of cynically using food as a weapon and waging an imperial-style war of conquest.

10:40pm: Putin praises Bosinian Serb separatist leader amid warnings that Serbia must align with the EU on UkraineBosnian Serb separatist leader Milorad Dodik met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Tuesday days after he endorsed Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine, Russian and Serbian media reported.

During a rare visit to Moscow by a politician from Europe, the Russian president praised his country’s “strategic partnership” with Serbia.

The visit came amid repeated warnings from the European Union that Serbia must align its foreign policies with the bloc if it really wants to become a member. Serbia is the only nation seeking EU membership that has refused to join Western sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine.

10:30pm: US attorney general, Ukraine’s top prosecutor to tackle war crimes prosecutionU.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland met with Ukraine’s top prosecutor in Washington on Tuesday and agreed to work more closely together to prosecute individuals involved in war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine, the Justice Department said.

Garland and Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin discussed efforts to hold perpetrators accountable in the wake of Russia’s invasion and signed a memorandum of understanding that will facilitate closer cooperation, the department said in a statement.

10:12pm: Coalition of EU countries asks the UN Human Rights Council to monitor RussiaMost EU countries presented a draft resolution Tuesday asking the UN to appoint an expert to monitor the rights situation inside Russia, as Moscow slammed the initiative as “politically biased”.

Following intense discussions, all European Union countries except Hungary agreed last week to ask the UN Human Rights Council to appoint a ‘special rapporteur’ on Russia.

Luxembourg, which agreed to take the lead, presented the draft resolution to countries late Tuesday, according to sources familiar with the process.

The move comes amid concerns over an intensifying crackdown in Russia as its war rages in neighbouring Ukraine.

9:47pm: EU foreign policy chief joins in condemnation of Russian referendumsThe European Union strongly condemns Russia’s plans to hold referenda in parts of Ukraine and will not recognise the results of the votes, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement on Tuesday.

“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,” Borrell said.

Borrell said the referenda votes cannot be considered “as the free expression of the will of the people” in these regions.

9:25pm: UK prime minister pledges billions in aid for UkraineBritain’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss on Tuesday vowed billions more in financial and military aid to Ukraine as she kicked off her debut foreign trip at the UN General Assembly.

Truss earlier vowed to rally Western support at the UN over Ukraine, saying her government would match or exceed the £2.3 billion ($2.6 billion) it plans to extend this year.

“Ukraine’s victories in recent weeks have been inspirational,” she said in a statement, after Kyiv’s forces pushed the Russian invaders out of almost all of the Kharkiv region in a lightning counter-offensive.

“My message to the people of Ukraine is this: the UK will continue to be right behind you every step of the way. Your security is our security.”

9:11pm: Biden set to nominate a new US ambassador to RussiaPresident Joe Biden will nominate career diplomat Lynne Tracy as US ambassador to Russia, the White House said on Tuesday.

Tracy currently serves as US ambassador to Armenia. The US ambassador post in Russia has been vacant since September 4, when envoy John Sullivan concluded his tenure there amid soaring bilateral tensions due to Moscow’s war in Ukraine.

8:25pm: Macron denounces Russian ‘imperialism’ during fiery speech at the UNFrench President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday told the United Nations General Assembly that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine harkened back to an earlier age of imperialism.

“What we have witnessed since February 24 is a return to the age of imperialism and colonies. France refuses this and will work persistently for peace,” he told the assembly.

“Together we must build peace and a contemporary international order,” Macron said during his address Tuesday.

His comments come in the wake of the announcement that four Russian-controlled regions in Ukraine will hold referendums on joining Russia, a move that Macron dismissed as a “parody” earlier today.

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