Russian Parliament approve accession of four regions
The Federation Council the upper house of the Russian Duma has ratified the accession treaty of four regions of former eastern Ukraine into the Russian Federation, Tuesday, following the approval of the accession treaty by the lower house on Monday. It will now go to the Kremlin for President Vladimir Putin’s signature. The transition period will last from September 30 2022 to January 1 2026.
Putin is “likely” to sign the documents during the course of the day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.
According to the laws, the residents of the new constituent entities are recognized as Russian citizens starting on September 30, the day the regions joined Russia, but they have a month to reject Russian citizenship. The documents specify that the residents of the new regions can acquire Russian citizenship by submitting applications and being sworn in as Russian citizens.
The referendum results released last week showed over 90 percent of voters in each region voting in favor of joining the Russian Federation.
The results were however rejected by Kiev and Western governments who said the votes breached international law.
On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree formally declaring the prospect of any talks with Putin “impossible,” though he left the door open to talks with Russia.
In response, the Kremlin said talks need to be joined by both sides and that Russia was committed to achieving its aims through peaceful means before it launched its “special military operation.”
For now, Russia can only wait for the current or the future Ukrainian president to change their position, it added.
Moscow is yet to formally designate the borders of the new regions. Peskov said on Monday consultations were ongoing regarding the borders of the Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions.
Fighting continued in the regions Russia is expected to formally absorb, with Ukraine on Monday reportedly taking territory tens of kilometers behind the previous frontlines in the southern Kherson region.
Meanwhile Russian forces control around 60 percent of the Donetsk region and 70 percent of Zaporozhye, while recent Ukrainian advances have also pushed the frontlines back into Luhansk, a region over which Russian forces claimed full control in July.
At the end of the plenary session at the state Duma Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told newsmen that it was necessary for the world to recognise Russia’s new territories.
“It would be better if all countries of the world recognized this new and inevitable reality. We have cited a huge number of judicial arguments, including references to the UN Charter that seals the principle of equality and self-determination of nations, and the UN General Assembly Declaration that makes it clear that all countries should respect the territorial integrity of states with governments which recognise the right to self-determination and represent the whole people belonging to the territory of a country.” He said.