All 400 of Russia’s MPs voted in favor of ratifying “friendship and cooperation treaties” with the so-called “republics” in Ukrainian Donbas during a parliamentary session on Feb. 22.
During the session, Russia’s parliament voted to make the treaties take effect immediately upon their publication.
After the vote, the State Duma, Russia’s parliament, erupted in a standing ovation.
On Feb. 15, the Duma submitted a petition to President Vladimir Putin to recognize the proxy republics. Commenting on the decision, the Russian leader said that the country “should do everything to solve the problems of the Donbas.”
Mykhailo Podolyak, advisor to the chief-of-staff to the Office of the President of Ukraine, said that the Duma’s appeal to Putin is seen as an attempt to escalate tensions, and would complicate the situation in Europe.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stated that Russia's recognition of the non-government-controlled parts of Ukraine would mean a conscious withdrawal from the Minsk agreements, which would deal a serious blow to the peace process to resolve the conflict in the Donbas.
The EU and NATO have also condemned the State Duma decision.
On Feb. 21, the self-declared leaders of the non-government-controlled parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik, called on the Russian leader to recognize the so-called “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Putin recognized the independence of the two puppet authorities in the non-government-controlled parts of Ukraine’s Donbas region that same day, and immediately ordered Russian troops into Ukrainian territory on a self-proclaimed “peacekeeping” mission – in fact an invasion.