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Russian deputies voted unanimously in favor of the accession of the four territories where a disputed referendum was held the previous week. After Vladimir Putin signed the annexation documents on Friday, September 30, the Constitutional Court gave the go-ahead on Sunday and on Tuesday it will be the turn of the Senate.
The Kremlin is continuing its formal procedure to annex the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia regions, even though it does not fully control them, as it did with the Crimean peninsula and Sevastopol in 2014.
This Monday, October 3, the Duma – the Russian Chamber of Deputies – endorsed the treaties signed last Friday by President Vladimir Putin together with the separatist leaders of the four territories in question.
Legislators unanimously endorsed the ratification laws, a situation that was anticipated. Later, they applauded and cheered the vote.
Foreign Minister Serguei Lavrov was in charge of presenting the projects in front of the Duma benches. “This process is the logical continuation of the unification of the Russian lands that began in 2014 with the return to Russia of the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol,” he stated.
For his part, the chairman of the Duma Legislation Committee, Pavel Krasheninnikov, asserted that Donetsk, Lugansk and Zaporizhia will enter the Russian Federation with their administrative borders; while Kherson will include two towns in Mikolaiv.
Earlier, spokesman Dmitri Peskov had warned that the limits of Zaporizhia and Kherson were not clear and that they would be consulted with the inhabitants of the area. “Any configuration will depend solely on the will of the people who live in these territories,” he said at a press conference.
This express procedure of Moscow is not recognized by the international community, which rejects the expansionist aspirations of the Kremlin. Even so, the Putin government will continue with the process step by step.
After the approval of the Russian authorities, the official language of the annexed regions will be Russian and the ruble will be the national currency.
On Sunday it was the turn of the Constitutional Court to give a thumbs up to these legislations and tomorrow it will be the time of the Council of the Federation, the Russian figure of the Senate, where it is also presumed that there will be total approval.
Later, the president will sign the annexations into federal law. These documents establish that the official language of the four regions will be Russian – although it will not exclude Ukrainian – and raise the ruble as the national currency.
Despite advances in annexation, Russia does not fully control the districts in question. After recapturing Lyman -in Donetsk-, the Ukrainian president Volodímir Zelenski said on Sunday that “the Ukrainian flag is already flying there” and warned that they will continue to gain kilometers this week.
In this sense, the local Army announced today the liberation of Torske, another town in Donetsk. Armed Forces Eastern Group spokesman Serhiy Cherevaty made the announcement on a Ukrainian television program and said they would continue to “stabilize” the area.
While kyiv victories were also recorded in Kherson, where they claimed the liberation of Arkhangelsk and Myrolyubivka.
With EFE and Reuters
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