News Russia Russian Parliament ratifies recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk independence

Russian Parliament ratifies recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk independence

State of Duma, Russia's lower chamber of parliament in Moscow

The Russian Parliament has ratified on Tuesday the Treaties of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance with the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in eastern Ukraine, shortly after they were recognized by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The measure was unanimously approved by the deputies of the Lower House, the State Duma, where no votes against or abstentions were registered, according to information from the Sputnik news agency.

Shortly afterwards, the text was also approved by the Federation Council (the upper house of parliament). The treaties are expected to remain in force for at least a decade, with the possibility of automatic extension for another five years.

The documents have been previously signed by the Russian president, who assured on Monday in a message to the nation that he considered it “necessary” to immediately recognize the independence of the Donbas.

Thus, he denounced that the international community prefers to “turn a blind eye to the terror and genocide to which the almost 4 million people” residing in those territories are subjected, where attacks, “the murder of civilians and blockades” do not cease.

Likewise, the Russian authorities have recognized the independence of these two provinces on the borders established by the pro-Russian rebels and separatists themselves, where they exercise their powers, as indicated by the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Andrei Rudenko.

“Moscow recognizes the Donbas republics on the borders where their authorities exercise their competences and jurisdiction,” he said, during a press conference, as reported by the Sputnik news agency.

Hours earlier, the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk have passed laws on the ratification of the friendship treaty with Russia. Thus, the people’s councils (parliaments) of both people’s republics have passed this law to ratify the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance with unanimity among those present.

The Ukrainian government on Monday put the death toll in the eight-year conflict in the east of the country up to 14,000, before adding that at least 30,000 people have been injured, while 1.5 million people have been forced to flee their homes in Crimea and Donbas to escape the Russian “occupation” of Ukrainian territory.

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