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France says votes in Russian-occupied Ukraine a ‘masquerade’

The Moscow-organised referendums in four occupied regions in Ukraine on annexation by Russia are a masquerade and will elicit more sanctions, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said Tuesday.

“It is a masquerade… the votes lacked sincerity,” she told BFM TV. “There was no legitimacy, no value. We don’t recognise them, they will elicit sanctions from France, Europe and other states in the international community.”

Russia’s election commission said between 97 and 98 percent of voters in Russia cast their ballots in favour of annexation, citing a partial count.

Ukraine and its allies have denounced the referendums as a “sham” and an attempt at a land grab.

“The European Union is in the process of holding consultations for an eighth round of sanctions,” Colonna said.

She said moves were also underway concerning a resolution against Russia in the current UN General Assembly summit in New York.

“If Russia uses its veto, it will be alone and once more will show its isolation on the world stage,” she said.