Russian MPs believe Putin should recognise People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk immediately

Russian MPs ask Putin to recognise Donbass republics to avoid genocide

The State Duma (the Russian Parliament) decided to send an appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin with a request to recognize the breakaway republics of the Donbass — People's Republic of Donetsk and People's Republic of Luhansk.

This decision was made at the plenary session of the Parliament.

Russian MPs consider the recognition of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk to be reasonable and morally justified.

"Over the past years, on the basis of the will of the people, democratic bodies and states with all attributes of legitimate power have been built in the republics,” the appeal says.

According to the MPs, the recognition of the People's Republic of Donetsk and the People's Republic of Luhansk will:

  • ensure security guarantees,
  • protect the population from external threats,
  • protect the population from the policy of genocide.

It would also make it possible to strengthen peace and stability in the region and launch the process of international recognition of the two states.

What is the preferential vote?

On Tuesday, February 15, the State Duma held the preferential vote on the question of in which form the President of Russia will receive an appeal to recognise the self-proclaimed People's Republic of Luhansk and People's Republic of Donetsk.

Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of the lower house, explained on Monday, February 14, after the meeting of the Council of the Duma, that two options were possible.

"Firstly, [the appeal] shall be immediately sent to the president after it is approved. Secondly, it shall be sent to the Russian Foreign Ministry and other government structures for study and feedback, after which it will be possible to return to its consideration.”

The State Duma rarely resorts to the procedure of preferential voting. It is used in case of alternative draft decisions, political analyst Pavel Sklyanchuk told RBC.

If none of the methods of appeal receives a sufficient number of votes (more than a half), the appeal may not have any prospects in principle, he noted.

"As a rule, previous attempts that opposition factions had made to turn to the head of state on various issues had been rejected," the expert said.

The proposal to appeal to President Vladimir Putin with an initiative to recognize the People's Republic of Donetsk and People's Republic of Luhansk was submitted to the State Duma by representatives of the Communist Party in January. They called this decision reasonable and morally justified. Such a measure would help protect the residents of the unrecognised republics from genocide.

On February 14, United Russia Party proposed holding consultations with the Foreign Ministry before addressing the president.

There is one text of the appeal per se, but there are two ways to consider it — directly to the president or coordinate with the Foreign Ministry first, State Duma officials clarified. 

  • The People's Republic of Donetsk and People's Republic of Luhansk declared their independence in the spring of 2014, when an armed conflict broke out on their territories.
  • The republics later held referendums to determine their independence on Ukraine, but the United States, European countries and other states did not recognise the results of the vote.
  • Russia stated that it respected the referendums, but Moscow did not recognise the two republics legally.

Putin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on the possible recognition of the breakaway republics of the Donbass.

It is an open secret that the Russians react painfully to everything that happens in the Donbass, he told reporters.

"This issue is very, very relevant for the public. No one remains indifferent to what is happening in the Donbass," Peskov said.

At the same time, Peskov suggested not to put the horse before the cart as "no decision has been made."

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