US: Denounces Duma Demand for Independence in Donetsk, Luhansk

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Russia’s recognition of the independence of separatist-held territories in Ukraine would be a “gross violation of international law,” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said today.

Russian lawmakers voted in favor of an appeal to President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to recognize the independence of pro-Russian separatist regions, which have backed the Ukrainian army in eastern Ukraine in 2014. .

“The passage of this resolution would further undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the secretary of state said in a statement.

It would also “further question Russia’s stated commitment to continue engaging in diplomacy to find a peaceful solution” to the crisis on the border with Ukraine, according to Anthony Blinken.

Blinken also said the move would “require a rapid and strong response from the United States in full coordination with our Allies and Partners.”

The United States thus unites its voice with the European Union, which “strongly condemned” yesterday the Duma’s appeal, through the mouth of the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell.

And, like Brussels, Washington stresses that the Kremlin’s approval of this resolution “would be a total rejection by the Russian government of its commitments under the Minsk agreements” signed in 2014 with the mediation of France and Germany. and provide in time the return of these areas under the control of Kiev.

The pro-Russian republics of Donetsk and Luhansk have been at loggerheads with the Ukrainian army in eastern Ukraine for eight years, backed by Moscow. The conflict, which erupted after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula, has killed at least 14,000 people since 2014.

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