Russian parliament backs call for recognition of separatist Donbass regions — RT Russia and the former Soviet Union

Ukraine has warned the move would spell the end of the Minsk Accords, designed to bring peace to the region

Russian State Duma lawmakers backed a motion calling on the Kremlin to recognize the independence of the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine, with the overwhelming majority voting in favor of the draft resolution in a context of heightened tensions between Moscow and Kiev.

On Tuesday, 351 deputies supported the draft proposal, initially presented by the Communist Party, which is addressed directly to the head of state. Meanwhile, 16 lawmakers opposed the move and one abstained.

Following the vote on the resolution, Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that the provision “will be signed immediately” and sent to Russian President Vladimir Putin for comments.

According to one of the lawmakers behind the decision, Russians would be ready to feel the pinch of sanctions following the recognition of the two regions of Donbass, sacrificing the traditional end-of-year bonus paid by many companies. “I am sure that the Russian people today fully support our decree and are ready to give up more than their 13th salary,” he added. Kazbek Taisaev asserted.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba warned at a briefing the same day that Kyiv would see the vote to recognize the two self-declared people’s republics as Moscow’s abandonment of a major peace plan aimed at ending the conflict in war-torn countries. Donbass.

“If a decision is made… Russia will de facto and de jure withdraw from the Minsk agreements with all the ensuing consequences,” warns the head of diplomacy.

Volodin said on Monday that the recognition of the two republics “is an extremely important and high-stakes issue”, adding that “Washington stokes tensions and arms Ukraine with European countries, while Kyiv continues to ignore Minsk agreements.”

The two Minsk agreements were signed in 2014 and 2015 by Kyiv, Moscow, the leaders of the two breakaway regions and the intergovernmental organization OSCE. Besides a ceasefire, the treaties also included a constitutional reform agreement in Ukraine, with decentralization and additional powers for the republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. However, this remains to be implemented.

In mid-January, Communist Party lawmakers submitted a draft resolution proposing a formal appeal to Putin “on the need to recognize the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic.”

Certain military exercises

MEPs said recognition of self-declared republics would set the framework for ensuring safeguards and protecting the population, of which ethnic Russians form the largest minority, from external threats.

Donetsk and Luhansk declared autonomy from Kyiv in 2014 following the events of Maidan, when Ukraine’s elected government was overthrown following violent street protests. However, neither Russia nor Ukraine currently recognize their independence, and both are signatories to the Minsk Accords, which call for a diplomatic resolution to end the eight-year conflict.

The call for formal recognition of Ukraine’s southeastern regions comes amid heightened tensions on the Russian-Ukrainian border in recent weeks. Kiev has argued that Donbass separatists are Russian proxies, which the Kremlin denies, and criticized Moscow’s issuing of more than half a million passports to citizens living there.


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