The U.S. Ambassador to the OSCE said that the U.S. does not recognize “fictitious referendums” in the south-east of Ukraine.

The United States believes that Russia plans to annex large swathes of eastern Ukraine later this month and recognize the Kherson region as an independent republic.

This was stated by a senior American official.

The U.S. Ambassador to the OSCE, Michael Carpenter, said that the alleged actions “directly correspond to the Kremlin’s tactics” and will not be recognized by the U.S., its partners or allies.

Carpenter said that the United States and other countries have information that Russia is planning “fictitious referendums” in the so-called Donetsk and Lugansk “people’s republics” on the accession of these entities to Russia.

According to him, there are also signs that Russia will inspire a vote on independence in the Kherson region.

“We believe that the Kremlin may try to hold fictitious referendums to give the appearance of democratic or electoral legitimacy, and these actions are directly consistent with the Kremlin’s tactics,” he said, adding that, according to available information, the vote could take place as early as mid–May.

“Such fictitious referendums, fabricated votes will not be considered legitimate, as will any attempts to annex new Ukrainian territories,” he said.