Kazakhstan will not recognize the self-proclaimed independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on Friday.
“If the right to self-determination is put into practice all over the world, then there will be over 600 countries instead of the 193 states that are currently members of the United Nations. Of course, that would be chaos,” Tokayev said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Kazakhstan does not recognize Taiwan, Kosovo, South Ossetia or Abkhazia, and the same applies to Donetsk and Luhansk, he added.
Donetsk and Luhansk – both parts of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region bordering Russia – were the scene of a Russian-backed insurgency starting in 2014, when Russia illegally annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.
On the eve of Russia starting the Ukraine war this Feb. 24, President Vladimir Putin recognized the “independence” of Donetsk and Luhansk.
As with Crimea, all of Donbas is still internationally recognized as Ukrainian territory, and the country’s armed forces continue to fight for it.