BRUSSELS, June 29 (KUNA) -- The European Union Wednesday condemned in "the strongest possible terms" the kidnapping of Mayor of Kherson Ihor Kolykhayev by the Russian forces and called for his immediate and unconditional release.
"Abducting and kidnapping democratically elected Ukrainian officials, journalists, civil society activists and ordinary citizens in Ukrainian territories temporarily under illegal Russian military control or in areas held by Russia-backed armed formations is completely unacceptable," said Peter Stano, EU Lead Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, in a statement.
The EU also strongly condemned the announced preparations for "an illegal fake referendum" in parts of the Kherson region on joining the Russian Federation saying such attempts represent "a blatant violation of international law".
"The result of such an orchestrated illegitimate vote will not be recognised by the international community," said the statement. (end)