Russian Security Council discussing recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk ‘people’s republics’ following official appeals from de facto leaders
De facto leaders Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik have asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to recognize the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics” in eastern Ukraine.
Both Pushilin and Pasechnik made their official appeals on Russian state television channel Rossiya 24, on Monday, February 21, claiming recognition would “prevent civilian casualties.” The de facto leaders also asked Putin to conclude partnership agreements with the two “republics” after they are recognized, including in the defense sector.
Shortly after the appeals, the Russian president opened an extraordinary meeting of the country’s Security Council. In his opening remarks, Putin confirmed that the council would discuss the issue of recognizing the DNR and LNR, among other things.
The Security Council meeting is being broadcast live by Russian state-controlled news network RT.
On February 15, the Russian State Duma adopted a resolution calling on Vladimir Putin to recognize the breakaway “republics” in eastern Ukraine. In turn, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Russian president had taken the motion “under advisement.” At the same time, Peskov noted that recognizing the “republics” as independent would violate the Minsk agreements. This echoed an earlier statement by Vladimir Putin, who stressed that the conflict should be resolved through these accords.
The Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) declared independence from Ukraine in 2014. However, they have only been recognized by South Ossetia — a breakaway state in the South Caucasus. Notably, both “republics” claim territory that is controlled by the Ukrainian government.