Proposal to recognise breakaway Ukrainian regions unveiled

The proposal, similar to one drafted by Communist lawmakers, will be voted on by parliament

Lawmakers from Russia’s governing party have introduced a draft resolution that would urge President Vladimir Putin to recognize the independence of the two self-proclaimed republics in Ukraine’s war-torn Donbass region, as tensions flare between Kiev and Moscow.

In the document, which was published by the parliament’s lower house on Monday, two Duma deputies serving on a key legislative committee, both from the ruling United Russia party, called for consultations with Moscow’s Foreign Ministry before the motion is presented to Putin.

One of the MPs, Viktor Volodatsky, who serves as the first deputy chairman of the Committee on CIS affairs, Eurasian Integration and Ties with Compatriots, told TASS that the proposed draft resolution aims to encourage the Kremlin to support the regions’ sovereignty.

Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin has since confirmed that the appeal aimed at getting Putin to recognize the two regions will be put before the Russian parliament, with the version getting the most votes being adopted.

Last month, lawmakers from the Communist Party 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."

The deputies said that recognizing the self-proclaimed republics would lay the framework for ensuring guarantees and protecting the population, of which ethnic Russians are one of the largest minorities, from threats.

The two breakaway regions announced their sovereignty from Kiev in 2014 following the events of the 2014 Maidan, when Kiev’s elected government was toppled as a result of violent street protests. However, neither Russia nor Ukraine currently recognize their autonomy, and both are signatories to the Minsk agreements that call for a diplomatic settlement to put an end to fierce fighting.

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