Russia may build military bases in 'republics' in Donbas under 'friendship agreement'

22 February 2022, 03:45 PM

Russia will be able to build military bases in occupied Ukrainian territory under the “friendship agreement” signed on Feb. 21 between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of the self-declared “people’s republics” of Luhansk and Donetsk in the Donbas.

This is according to a report by Russian state-controlled media outlet RIA Novosti on the Telegram instant messaging service on Feb. 22.

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.

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“In order to ensure the security of the Contracting Parties, as well as peace and stability, each of the Contracting Parties will authorize the other Contracting Party to build, use, and improve by its armed forces military infrastructure and military bases on its territory,” the “agreement” says.

In addition, Russia “will take measures to support the financial and banking systems of the ‘DPR’ (‘Donetsk People’s Republic’) and the ‘LPR’ (‘Luhansk People’s Republic’).”

This “agreement” will be in force for a period of 10 years.

On Feb. 15, the State Duma, Russia’s parliament, 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.”

The Kremlin later announced that Putin had received the appeal and had “taken note of it.”

On Feb. 16, Ukraine asked the UN Security Council to discuss the State Duma resolution on Russia’s recognition of the non-government-controlled parts of Ukraine as independent.

Mykhailo Podolyak, advisor to the chief-of-staff to the Office of the President of Ukraine, said that the Duma’s appeal to Putin was seen as an attempt to escalate, 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 Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov stated that recognition of the self-declared statelets in the Donbas by Putin could be a pretext for a new Russian invasion.

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.

The self-declared leaders asked Russia to consider concluding agreements on friendship and cooperation with the territories they occupy, including in defense.

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