The European Union said it would not recognize the result of a referendum on self-rule held by pro-Moscow rebels in east Ukraine on Sunday, calling it illegal.
“The so-called referenda in … parts of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions were illegal and we do not recognise the outcome. Those who organised the referenda have no democratic legitimacy,” Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said in e-mailed comments to Reuters.
She said holding the referendum ran counter to the objectives of an agreement reached by Ukraine, Russia, the European Union and the United States last month that aimed to defuse the Ukraine crisis.
Ukraine’s Crimea region was annexed by Russia in March after a similar vote.
Kocijancic said the European Union encouraged the Ukraine government to push ahead with efforts to reach out to all regions through a proposed national dialogue, including steps towards an inclusive dialogue on constitutional reform.