Russia's elections in the occupied regions of eastern Ukraine have "no legal grounds," said a senior UN official on Monday.
Russia began holding elections in the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Crimea, and parts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhya drawing international condemnation.
"We are concerned over reports of Russian Federation holding so-called elections in areas of Ukraine currently under Russian military control," UN Assistant Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas Miroslav Jenca told the UN Security Council.
"These so-called elections in the occupied areas of Ukraine have no legal grounds."
Western nations accuse Russia of trying to legitimize the annexation of Ukrainian territories by conducting elections in the occupied regions.
Jenca also warned that the "continuing, relentless" attacks, targeting Ukraine's grain infrastructure on the Black Sea and Danube river ports, after Russia's refusal to not extend the grain deal, risk having "far-reaching" consequences for global food security.
Russia suspended the grain deal saying parts related to its demands have "not been implemented so far," referring to the removal of obstacles to its fertilizer exports and the inclusion of state-owned Russian Agricultural Bank in the SWIFT international payment system.
The agreement was signed in Istanbul in July 2022 by Russia, Ukraine, Türkiye, and the UN, creating a safe corridor through the Black Sea for exports from three Ukrainian ports since the war began in February of that year.
It helped rein in spiraling prices and ease a global food crisis by restoring the flow of wheat, sunflower oil, fertilizer and other products from Ukraine -- one of the world's largest grain exporters.