The region’s legal status remains unchanged, says Dmitry Peskov as Russian forces redeploy across the Dnieper River.Kherson remains part of Russia – Kremlin
The withdrawal of Russian forces from Kherson doesn’t effect the legal status of the region, Moscow insisted on Friday, as it was officially incorporated into Russia last month after a public referendum.
Speaking to journalists, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that “Kherson Region remains part of the Russian Federation, and this status is legally fixed and defined, and there can be no changes to this status.”
His comments come after the Defense Ministry announced that Russian forces had completed their redeployment to the left bank of the Dnieper River on Friday without suffering any loss of personnel, weapons, or vehicles.
The ministry also noted that all residents who wished to leave were also provided with assistance and safely made it across the river despite attempts by Kiev’s forces to disrupt the movement of civilians with artillery fire.
Earlier this week, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu ordered Russian forces to withdraw from the provincial capital of Kherson in order to avoid unnecessary deaths and to take up a stronger defensive position. The decision, which was described as “difficult” by military officials, has left the city exposed to capture by Kiev’s troops.
Kherson Region officially became a part of Russia last month, together with the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as well as Zaporozhye Region after a referendum. Kiev called the vote a “sham” and has pledged to keep fighting until all land that it considers to be rightfully Ukrainian is taken.
Lavrov to discuss US threats to APAC at Phnom Penh East Asia Summit
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will take part in the 17th East Asia Summit in Cambodia on Saturday and Sunday.
The Russian top diplomat is leading Russia’s delegation to the summit. On its sidelines, the Russian foreign minister will also hold several bilateral meetings.
Challenges for APAC
Within the framework of the East Asia Summit, the Russian side intends to discuss in detail the challenges that the Asia-Pacific Region is encountering. According to Moscow, the key ones among them are the attempts by the United States of America and its allies to upset the balance of the current system of transnational relations established in the region and their aspiration “to bring a confrontational charge to Asia with narrow-bloc instruments of domination.”
Russia also sees “dangerous trends” in the fact that NATO military and military-technological structures “are literally being brought” into the region, merging this infrastructure with the military potential of Washington’s allies including the AUKUS alliance (Australia, Britain and the US). Lavrov repeatedly stressed that the South China Sea would become a new NATO’s “line of defense.”
Russian ideas and Eurasian cooperation
On the eve of the summit, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stressed that the Russian side views this venue as “an important element of the multipolar architecture of regional security with the potential to develop mutually beneficial multilateral cooperation.” “Russia invariably advocates that the East Asia Summit should address specific development issues that are relevant to each and every country in the Asia-Pacific region,” she emphasized, reiterating that Russian proposals on launching a mechanism of collective response to pandemic threats were presented within the framework of the East Asia Summit.
Moscow also put forward the idea of using the potential of the tourism industry to jointly search for avenues leading to the economic recovery of member states with the next step being a meeting between the leaders of tourism agencies.
Zakharova also noted that ASEAN, the core of the East Asia Summit, supported Russia’s proposals on facilitating interaction between volunteer movements of member states.
The Russian side welcomes ASEAN’s interest in developing interaction with other constructively oriented alliances of the Eurasian space including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). “We support inviting SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming to ASEAN’s events in Phnom Penh. ASEAN contacts with this structure enable it to lay the foundation to build sweeping continental cooperation directed at achieving sustainable development, well-being and prosperity for our countries,” the foreign ministry spokeswoman noted.