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Russia’s State Duma more than unanimous in ratifying annexation treaties, with more votes in favor than deputies present
Russian State Duma deputies have ratified four treaties signed by Vladimir Putin and the heads of several Ukrainian regions, where annexation “referendums” were conducted on Sept. 23–27. The treaties join the self-proclaimed “DNR” and “LNR,” as well as Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, to the Russian Federation as its new constituents. As part of the formal annexation procedure, these documents had to be approved by the Russian parliament.
The lower chamber’s Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin announced that the State Duma voted unanimously in favor of ratifying each treaty, in four separate rounds of voting. But the numbers present some discrepancies.
Although no votes were cast against the ratifications, and none of the deputies had abstained, the State Duma tableau flashed different numbers of favorable votes cast in each case. 413 and 412 voices were recorded in favor of annexing the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, respectively. 409 and 411 votes were supposedly cast in favor of annexing the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions.
The news outlet Agentstvo points out that only 408 deputies were registered to vote at the October 3 meeting. It follows that, in all four rounds of voting, more favorable votes were cast than the number of deputies present.
The State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin attributed the discrepancy to a “technical glitch,” urging that no one should be concerned about “plus or minus one vote.”
On September 30, President Vladimir Putin signed treaties with the heads of four Ukrainian regions claimed to be seeking entry into the Russian Federation. Denis Pushilin signed on behalf of the self-proclaimed “DNR”; Leonid Pasechnik signed for the self-proclaimed “LNR”; Yevgeny Balitsky and Volodymyr Saldo signed for the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, respectively.
As part of the formal annexation procedure, the federal Constitutional Court examined the treaties and confirmed their conformity to the Russian constitutional law.
The treaties, now ratified by the State Duma, are next to be approved by the Federation Council and signed by the president.
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