The State Duma, the lower house of the Parliament of Russiatoday approved an appeal to the Russian president, Vladimir Putinto recognize the independence of the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, in the east of Ukraine.
In favor of the respective resolution, presented by the communist parliamentary group, 351 deputies voted, of the 450 that make up the Duma.
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“The resolution will be signed immediately and sent to the head of state”said the president of the Duma, Viacheslav Volodin, quoted by the Interfax agency.
The communists’ proposal prevailed over an alternative draft resolution presented by the ruling United Russia party, which received 310 votes.
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The defeated motion called for consultations with the Foreign Ministry and other government structures on the recognition of pro-Russian separatists before turning to Putin.
Shortly before the vote in the Dumathe Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, indicated that “it is no secret to anyone that Russian public opinion reacts strongly to everything that happens in Donbas”, where pro-Russian separatists supported by Moscow and the Ukrainian Army have been fighting since 2014.
Russia has issued more than 700,000 passports to citizens of these two regions.
At the same time, Peskov stressed that Russia is in favor of the fulfillment of the Minsk Agreements for the settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which recognize as part of that country the territories that the Kiev government does not control.
The foreign minister of UkraineDmitro Kuleba, warned today that recognition by Russia of the self-proclaimed people’s republics will mean “de iure and de facto” the denunciation of the Minsk Agreements, with all the consequences that flow from it.
On Monday, the chairman of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada (Parliament), Ruslan Stefanchuk, stated that the deputies are preparing a document in which the legislature will once again reiterate that Donetsk and Lugansk belong to Ukraine.
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