After Russian President Vladimir Putin officially announced the annexation of the Ukrainian regions of Lugansk, Donetsk, Zaporozhye and Kherson to the Russian Federation;

Kyiv accelerated its bid to join NATO, while Russia was forced to raise its veto in the Security Council to overturn a resolution condemning it.

On Friday, Russia used its veto to thwart a resolution presented by the United States and Albania in the UN Security Council aimed at condemning Moscow's announcement of the annexation of Ukrainian regions to the Russian Federation.

Ten countries - including the United States and Britain - voted in favor of the resolution, while China, Gabon, India and Brazil abstained, and Russia's vote was the only one opposing the resolution.

The US Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas Greenfield, put forward the resolution, which called on member states not to recognize any change in the situation in Ukraine, while obliging Russia to withdraw its forces, but the Russian delegate to the council, Vasily Nebenzia, saw that seeking to condemn a permanent member of the Security Council is unprecedented.

Washington has hinted that it will turn its attention in the event of rejection of the resolution in the Security Council to the General Assembly of the United Nations, which voted by a majority in favor of condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24 last.

Putin during a ceremony to annex the Ukrainian regions to Russia (Reuters)

party and speech

Earlier on Friday, the Kremlin hosted a ceremony for the annexation ceremony, during which Putin delivered a lengthy speech in which he stressed that the annexation of the four new regions of the Russian Federation expresses the popular will of millions, and that the residents of those regions have become Russian citizens forever.

Putin also called on Ukraine to stop all military operations and return to the negotiating table, stressing at the same time that "force will determine the political future in the world."

He accused the United States of imposing the dollar's power on the world after World War II, and believed that the West wanted to classify his country as an enemy and Europe did not want a practical solution to the energy crisis, and accused the West of producing biological weapons, and using humans in Ukraine as experiment fields.

He also stressed in his speech that Russia is a great country and will not accept to live on the basis of "false international rules", and that the West has no moral right to dictate its will while dividing the world into civilized and savage nations.

resort to NATO

In light of these developments, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed that his country had taken what he described as a decisive step, by signing the request for rapid accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Zelensky stressed that Ukraine will not negotiate with Russia as long as Putin is president, adding - in a video broadcast on the Internet - that negotiations will only take place with a new president in the Kremlin.

Earlier, the Ukrainian presidency announced that the National Security and Defense Council discussed measures to ensure collective security at the Ukrainian and European levels.

She also confirmed that the meeting chaired by Zelensky discussed confronting Russia's attempts to annex Ukrainian lands, before the official announcement of its annexation by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Zelensky called for rapid accession to NATO (Anatolia - Archive)

international parking

In international reactions to Putin's speech and his announcement of the annexation of Ukrainian regions, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, "Our position towards Ukraine is consistent, and is to respect its sovereignty while taking into account the security concerns of any other country," and added, "We are ready to work with the international community to reduce escalation in Ukraine."

European Council President Charles Michel said that "the European Union and its citizens stand with Ukraine's sovereignty and its right to defend its territory until its liberation," while the European Commission said that Crimea, Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk and Luhansk are Ukrainian territories, and will never recognize its annexation to Russia.

The move also condemned the British Foreign Ministry, which informed the Russian ambassador of its protest, the Romanian Foreign Ministry, the Austrian Foreign Ministry, the Polish Foreign Ministry and the Moldovan presidency.

In the same regard, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that "the alliance will not enter into a direct military conflict with Russia, and we are not a party to the conflict, and our role is to protect the sovereignty of Ukraine." The war does not come at a high cost to us."

"We will never recognize the fake referendums in Ukraine that were conducted at gunpoint, and we reiterate that Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, Zaporozhye and Crimea are Ukrainian territories," the G7 foreign ministers said.

And US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said, "We will hold the G7 countries accountable, any entity, individual, or country that provides political or economic support to the Russian steps," vowing to impose severe sanctions on "government officials and their families in Russia and Belarus."