Russia's annexations of four Ukraine provinces is not legal under international law, and most likely won't be recognized, foreign policy analyst Walid Phares explained in a Newsmax interview Thursday, one day before Russian President Vladimir Putin is to sign the documents to link the regions to his country.
"Yes, there are referendums," Phares, an adviser to former President Donald Trump, said on Newsmax's "John Bachman Now." "The United Nations charter has allowed these referendums, but what Moscow has done was to occupy these areas, establish a military rule in these areas and then organize a referendum without a presence of the United Nations, so definitely in terms of international law, these are not legal."
Turkey committed the same action in 1974 when it invaded northern Cyprus, and until now that region has not been recognized, said Phares.
"It's only when both sides in a country, say if Scotland wants to separate, Quebec wants to separate, they have a referendum, and if the majority of the country doesn't accept this won't go," said Phares.
But in the case of Ukraine, where the elections were held under the threat of force, "Legally, it's not going to fly," he said.
Also with his move, Putin is trying to create a zone around the Sea of Azov, where the Russian fleet will be able to operate, meaning economic advantages from the annexation, said Phares.
And, if Ukraine attacks the provinces, that would be considered an attack on Russia, "and then [Putin] could use his weapons for self-defense."
Phares also commented on the leaks that have been springing from the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea, and said the damages to the vital structure are "the big game."
"There is not anymore, just Ukraine and Russia," he said. "This would involve NATO. This would involve the European Union. This will involve gas and oil interests around the world. This is really a James Bond movie to know who actually was responsible, but I'm sure that the intelligence community here in the United States and in the West have some ideas about it."
Still, the damages are a dangerous incident, said Phares, and the investigation will involve several other countries, including Sweden, Finland, Germany, and Poland.
"The United States and the rest of the international community should tread very, very carefully about what has happened there," he said.
Phares on Thursday also spoke out about the death in Iran of Masha Amini, the 22-year-old Iranian who died while in custody for not covering her head with a hijab, or Islamic headscarf.
"What is happening right now is that is different from the previous three revolts against the regime," he said. "It's better organized with younger people and there is a coordination with the exile communities."
The international community and the Biden administration must extend moral support and not repeat what President [Barack] Obama did in 2009, which was a green light for the regime to crush the green revolution, he added.
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