Russia more isolated after Putin annexed four areas

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Russia more isolated after Putin annexed four areas

KYIV: Russia was more diplomatically isolated Saturday after President Vladimir Putin annexed four areas of Ukraine, with Kyiv condemning the move and vowing to retake the territories.

On Friday, Putin held a grand ceremony in the Kremlin to celebrate the annexation, hours after shelling killed 30 people in Ukraine's southern region of Zaporizhzhia.

People living in Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia are forever becoming our citizens, and I want to say this to the Kyiv regime and its masters in the West.

Washington announced new sanctions against Russian officials and the defence industry, and said G 7 allies support imposing costs on any nation that supports the annexation.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged the US-led military alliance NATO to grant his country fast-track membership.

He said he would never hold talks with Russia as long as Putin was in power.

U.S. President Joe Biden condemned Friday's ceremony in Moscow as a sham routine and pledged to continue backing Kyiv.

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO's chief, slammed the annexation as illegal and illegitimate, but remained non-committal after Ukraine said it was applying to join the Western Alliance.

The United States and Canada voted for Ukraine's membership, but they steered clear of promises to fast track it.

Turkey said on Saturday that Russia's annexation was a grave violation of the established principles of international law.