Russia prepares a draft law to recognize the rebel republics of Donetsk and Lugansk



As Russia did in August 2008, when it recognized the independence of the Georgian rebel territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the Duma (Lower House of the Russian Parliament) is considering doing the same with the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in Ukraine. These two separatist enclaves they are the cause of the current tension between Moscow and the West, where Kiev is supported.

The president of the Duma, Viacheslav Volodin, said today that «we see the president -of Ukraine- Volodímir Zelenski ignoring the Minsk agreements. NATO wants to occupy Ukraine and either one or the other can lead to tragedy. We must not allow it.” In his opinion, “solutions must be found to ensure the safety of our citizens and compatriots in the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic.”

Russia has already issued nearly 100,000 passports to citizens of eastern Ukraine.

So Volodin explained to the press that “we are talking about an initiative presented by the deputies of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, headed by Gennadi Zyuganov”, consisting of approving the request that President Vladimir Putin recognizes Donetsk and Lugansk as independent states. The head of the Russian Legislative assured that “Sergei Mirónov has already declared that his parliamentary group, Just Russia, is willing to support the bill and also, more broadly, the Liberal Democratic Party” (LDPR) of the ultranationalist Vladímir Zhirinovsky.

The Kremlin party, United Russia, to which Volodin belongs, has not yet made a statement, but it will do what Putin says, on whom it ultimately depends whether or not the proposal progresses. In any case, the fact that the issue is raised today, when the foreign ministers of Russia and the United States are meeting in Geneva to continue looking for a way to de-escalate the tense situation around Ukraine, indicates that it is an instrument of more pressure from Moscow, as are the naval maneuvers announced yesterday by the Russian Defense Ministry and which will take place halfway around the world.

United Russia holds the absolute majority in the Duma and with the support of the other parliamentary groups present in the hemicycle, a overwhelming support for the motionn. The Speaker of the Chamber stated that “United Russia deputies, who have repeatedly spoken out on this issue, are also concerned about the lives of Russian citizens and compatriots living in the Donetsk and Lugansk Territory. This is a very serious and responsible matter.”

In this regard, Volodin pointed out that “it will hold consultations with the spokesmen of the various parliamentary factions next week to discuss the initiative and then, based on the results obtained, it will be taken to the Council of the State Duma».

After Georgia tried to recover South Ossetia by force, in August 2008, it sent troops to the area, defeated Georgian forces and recognized the independence of that enclave and also of Abkhazia. Subsequently, as independent states, it concluded with them two agreements of “military cooperation”, which allowed the deployment of the Russian Army in their respective territories. De facto, South Ossetia and Abkhazia are currently Russian protectorates, where Georgia has no business. Exactly the same could happen with Donetsk and Lugansk, if an agreement between Russia, Ukraine and the West is not reached or if NATO does not prevent it, something that is guessed very unlikely.

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