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Biden vows: US will never recognize Russia's annexation efforts
The United States will "never, never, never" recognize Russia's attempt to annex territory in Ukraine, President Joe Biden said.
The statement came as Vladimir Putin is expected to announce today that four regions of Ukraine are joining Russia.
The Kremlin says Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson voted to join Russia in recent referendums.
But Ukraine and the West have rejected the vote, considering it a fraud.
The US will impose new sanctions on Russia as a result of the annexation.
"The United States, I want to be very clear about this, will never, never, never recognize Russia's claims to the sovereign territory of Ukraine," Biden said.
On Thursday, the Russian president signed two decrees recognizing Zaporizhzhia and Kherson as independent territories, paving the way for their annexation.
The documents, distributed in Russian state media, say that the independence of the two regions is being recognized in accordance with international law and "sanctioned in the Charter of the United Nations".
However, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said that any annexation of a country's territory based on the use of force violates the UN Charter and international law.
It is a "dangerous escalation" that "has no place in the modern world," he said.
Turkey, along with the UN, has mediated negotiations between Russia and Ukraine in the past - successfully reaching an agreement to resume grain exports via the Black Sea.