G7 foreign ministers condemn Russia's 'sham elections' on Ukrainian territory

The foreign ministers from the Group of Seven countries have condemned Russia for staging what they called "sham elections" in four Ukrainian regions. These regions were annexed by Russia last September.

The G7 ministers issued a statement on Tuesday. Russia held nationwide local elections earlier this month, and carried out what it called elections in the Ukrainian regions. They are Donetsk and Luhansk in the east, and the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in the south.

The ministers say these sham "elections" are a further violation of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and of the UN Charter.

They add that they will never recognize Russia's illegitimate claims to sovereign Ukrainian territory and call on all states to unequivocally reject them.

They say they will stand with the Ukrainian people and continue to provide the financial, humanitarian, security and diplomatic support Ukraine requires for as long as it takes.