Ukraine condemns the Russian Federation’s decision to recognise the “independence” of the quasi-entities it had created in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, the so-called “Luhansk People’s Republic” and “Donetsk People’s Republic,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine informs.

With this action the Russian side has blatantly defied the fundamental norms and principles of international law, the UN Charter, and has violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.

“The Russian Federation’s decision to recognise the so-called “Luhansk People’s Republic” and “Donetsk People’s Republic” will have no legal implications. This decision sharply escalates the situation and can mean the Russian Federation’s unilateral withdrawal from the Minsk agreements,” reads the statement.

It is noted that the Ukrainian side understands Russia’s intentions and its objective to provoke Ukraine. We are taking into account all the risks and not giving in to the provocations as we remain committed to a politico-diplomatic settlement of the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict.

At the instruction by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian diplomatic service is currently making use of the entire arsenal of instruments of diplomacy to avert the expansion of the armed conflict. Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba is staying in continuous communication with his colleagues to coordinate the diplomatic efforts and take action to conduct meetings of international agencies and summits as well as to attract defence assistance and ensure application of harsh sanctions against the Russian Federation.

“The Russian Federation’s next decisions and moves depend greatly on global reactions to today’s developments. We, therefore, insist on application against Russia of harsh sanctions to send a clear signal of inadmissibility of further escalation. The time has come to act in order to stop Russian aggression and restore peace and stability in Europe,” the document sums up.

Vladimir Putin’s decrees recognizing the “DPR” and “LPR” terrorist groups have already been published in Russia. In his decrees, Putin, among other things, instructs the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia “to negotiate the establishment of diplomatic relations” with “DPR” and “LPR.”

Moreover, Putin has instructed that Russian troops be sent to the occupied Donbas before the decision of the Federation Council on its recognition. The Russian army is allegedly being sent to certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions to “keep the peace.”

International response

EU leaders already said they will react “with unity, firmness and with determination in solidarity with Ukraine.” In particular, Poland called Putin’s decision “an act of aggression against Ukraine.”

In turn, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, and President of the European Council Charles Michel called Russia’s recognition of the independence of “DPR” and “LPR” a violation of international law and Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss said Putin’s decision to recognise the “independence” of “DPR” and “LPR” showed a flagrant disregard for Russia’s commitments under the Minsk agreements.

U.S. President Joe Biden said Russia’s recognition of “DPR” and “LPR” posed a threat to the national security of the United States and imposed sanctions on them.

Natalia Tolub

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