The US State Department called the announcements of pro-Russia forces in Ukraine of the referenda in favor of joining Russia “completely fabricated” and “concocted in Moscow.”
“This is the will of Moscow, not the free will of Ukraine or its people,” said State Department spokesperson Ned Price at a briefing with reporters.
Price said that the US expects Russia to attempt to annex Ukrainian territory based on the “sham referenda.”
“But no matter what President Putin and his enablers try to claim, these areas are and will remain part of Ukraine,” said Price. “Ukraine has every right to continue to defend its sovereignty and its territorial integrity.”
Price also said the State Department will be announcing “additional measures” in response.
“The United States will never recognize Russia's attempts to annex parts of Ukraine,” Price said.