Published on 

Statement by Minister Coveney on the sham referendums in Ukraine

Ireland rejects the sham referendums which have just been conducted in occupied Ukrainian territory by Russia and its proxies.   

These referendums are both illegal and illegitimate.  

They are illegal because they violate the UN Charter and Russia’s obligations under international law, including the law of occupation. They also ignore Ukraine’s Constitution, which provides a legal basis for any referendum that would affect the territorial boundaries of Ukraine. 

They are illegitimate because they do not reflect the popular or freely expressed will of the Ukrainian people. Over 1 million people from those occupied territories have been moved to Russia as a result of Russia’s military invasion, including by forced deportation; and more than 7 million people are internally displaced within Ukraine because of this war. 

Ireland will never recognise Russian claims to illegally-annexed parts of Ukraine, and will remain steadfast in its support for the people of Ukraine.