The Kremlin said on Thursday that Russia doesn’t plan on annexing more territories in its war against Ukraine.
“There is no question of that. But there is nevertheless a lot of work ahead to liberate the territories; in a number of new regions of the Russian Federation there are occupied territories that have to be liberated.”
Moscow had annexed four provinces of Ukraine – Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson – despite protests by Ukraine and the west that this step violates international law. None of these provinces were under the full control of Russia when announcing their annexation.
Ukraine liberated other parts of them from the Russian occupation.
International law recognizes Russia as an occupying force in these provinces and stipulates that they belong to Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Ukraine’s recovery of the Crimean Peninsula – which was annexed by Russia in 2014 – represents a continuous threat.
Peskov also criticized the remarks by Germany that Ukraine should not restrict its defensive struggle against Russia to its lands.
He warned that this would expand the conflict’s scope.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky complained about the threat posed by the Russian landmines in the country.
In his daily video message, the president said that this is the form of “Russian terrorism” to be faced in the coming years.
His remarks were made after he honored four policemen who died in mine explosions in Kherson on December 7 and he said that Russia will be punished for its “mine terror” in Ukraine.