Ukraine at UN demands that Russia cancel recognition of ‘republics’ in Donbas, withdraw its troops

22 February 2022, 12:39 PM

Ukraine demands that Russia cancel its decision to recognize the so-called “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk and withdraw its troops from the Donbas, the Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations, Sergiy Kyslytsya, said at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Feb. 21.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had recognized the independence of the two self-declared statelets 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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“...It remains up to Russia to abandon its long-lasting strategy on Ukraine, based on threats and the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of my country, and re-engage in what we all have committed to – the fundamental principles of peaceful relations enshrined in the UN Charter,” Kyslytsya said.

“We demand Russia cancel the decision on recognition (of the ‘republics’) and return to the negotiating table.”

Kyslytsya said Ukraine condemns “the order to deploy additional Russian occupation troops in the territories of Ukraine,” and demanded that Russia initiate an "immediate and complete verifiable withdrawal of the occupation troops.”

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 the recognition of the non-government-controlled parts of Ukraine.

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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