Russian lawmakers move to recognise Ukraine separatists

NNA - .Russia's parliament will consider asking President Vladimir Putin to officially recognise breakaway statelets in Ukraine, a senior lawmaker said Friday, against the backdrop of tensions between Moscow and the West over Ukraine.

Communist lawmakers this week tabled legislation in the lower house calling on Putin to recognise the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk people's republics in eastern Ukraine.

The regions bordering Russia, collectively known as Donbass, have been locked in armed conflict with Kyiv's army since a Kremlin-backed insurgency following Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

"One thing is absolutely clear: it is necessary to seek a solution to ensure the safety of our citizens and countrymen" in the breakaway regions, Russia's lower house speaker Vyacheslav Volodin wrote on Telegram.

He said party leaders will next week discuss the communists' initiative before potentially putting it to the vote.

In the post, Volodin accused Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky of ignoring peace agreements dating from 2015 and claimed NATO was seeking to "occupy" Ukraine.

"Both could result in tragedy. We cannot allow this to happen," he said, claiming the bill already has the support of most parties in the Duma.

The proposal comes as the West accuses Russia of planning an invasion of Ukraine, with Moscow demanding security guarantees from NATO in exchange for a de-escalation. --AFP


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