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Ghana will not recognise Russian annexation of Ukrainian territory – Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, addressing the UN Security Council

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has announced that Ghana will not recognise any annexation of Ukrainian territories by the Russian Federation.

Addressing a special meeting of the United Nations (UN) Security Council on the maintenance of the peace and security of Ukraine in New York City today (Thursday 22 September 2022), Shirley Botchwey noted that Ghana remains committed to its position that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is in breach of international law and unjustified.

“We have expressed several times our principled position against the aggression on Ukraine which we consider to be a disregard for the rules of international law and the principles of the charter (UN Charter).

Ukraine as a sovereign state and a member of this organisation [the UN] has every right, we believe, and indeed a responsibility to defend its territorial integrity and political independence,” Foreign Minister Botchwey said.

“Ghana does not, and will not, recognise any territory that is unilaterally and forcefully acquired as dismembered from a sovereign entity,” Miss Botchwey added.


In her statement, the Minister of Foreign Affairs reiterated Ghana’s call on the Russian Federation to “immediately and unconditionally cease its operations, withdraw its troops from the internationally recognised borders of Ukraine”, and respect its western neighbour’s “sovereignty and political independence”.

“The need for a credible pathway for a genuine diplomatic process is urgent,” Botchwey said.

“The barrel of the gun does not provide such a pathway. It only leads to needless loss of lives and destruction on both sides.

“Indeed, the cost of the war has been high, not only for the parties, but also for the rest of the world,” she said.

Referendums proposed

After stunning battlefield setbacks in the past two weeks, Russia moved to tighten its grip on territory it occupies in eastern and southern Ukraine (Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk) as Kremlin proxies and associates announced plans on Tuesday (21 September 2022) for referendums on annexation to Russia.

The signs were of a possible escalation of the seven-month-old war.

The Kremlin signalled that if Russia were to go forward with annexation, even if no other country recognised it, any further military action by Ukraine in those regions would be seen as an attack on Russia itself.

This, in turn, would justify any military response by the nation with the world’s largest nuclear arsenal.

Partial mobilisation

In what is seen by several international law experts as an escalation of Russia’s war in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday (21 September) a “partial mobilisation“ of Russian citizens.

The exercise would see 300,000 reservists called up, according to the Russian defence minister, Sergei Shoigu.

In his announcement, Putin said those with military experience would be subject to conscription, and stressed that the decree, which was already signed, was necessary to “protect our homeland, its sovereignty and its territorial integrity“.

The announcement by President Putin prompted widespread protests in Russia, and some have sought to flee the country to escape the conscription.

Wilberforce Asare

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