In a televised speech to the Russian people, President Vladimir Putin confirmed that Russia now recognizes two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent.
The signing of the recognition decree was then broadcasted live.
Putin has also signed friendship and aid agreements with the leaders of the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, AFP reports.
The speech began with a long introduction by Putin in which he went through the history between Russia and Ukraine and, among other things, claimed that Ukraine as a whole was created by the Soviet Union.
Researcher calls Putin’s move dramatic escalation
Senior researcher Kristian Åtland at the Armed Forces Research Institute describes Putin’s recognition of the two breakaway republics as a dramatic escalation.
The moment of tension now, as Åtland sees it, is what happens next in the military area as a result of the president’s decision, the newspaper VG writes.
He wonders whether Russia will send military forces into the territories they now consider independent states.
“Will the Russian forces then stop at the line of contact, or will they push further west to take control of the entire area or an even larger part of Ukraine?” Åtland wonders.
He believes both scenarios are possible. Åtland emphasizes that the recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk has no legitimacy under international law.
Source : © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews
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