UPDATE: Russian President Vladimir Putin informed German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron that he would sign a decree to recognise the People's Republic of Donetsk and the People's Republic of Luhansk in the near future, Interfax reports with reference to the Kremlin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin convened a meeting of the Security Council of the Russian Federation. The meeting is dedicated to the recognition of the self-proclaimed People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Opening the meeting of the Security Council, Putin clarified that he decided to discuss the appeal from the heads of the two self-proclaimed republics of the Donbass on recognising their independence, as well as the appeal on the same subject from the State Duma.
According to Putin, this issue is closely connected with security issues in the world and in Europe in particular.
Putin noted that Russia was doing its best to resolve the crisis in the Donbass peacefully.
"Nevertheless, the Kiev authorities have carried out punitive operations in these territories twice. Apparently, we are witnessing a third aggravation of the crisis," Putin added.
Earlier, on February 21, the heads of the People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik, asked Putin to recognise the independence of the self-proclaimed republics. In addition, Pushilin asked the Russian president to consider a possibility of concluding an agreement on friendship and cooperation, including cooperation in the field of defence.
Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council, said that the crisis in the two republics was not going to improve on its own. The overwhelming majority of Russian citizens would support the recognition of the People's Republic of Donetsk and the People's Republic of Luhansk.
Recognising the self-proclaimed republics of the Donbass is the only way out for Moscow, Medvedev stated.
In the absence of any progress in negotiations with the West, Russia will have to recognize the self-proclaimed People's Republic of Donetsk and People's Republic of Luhansk, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said during the meeting of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.
“We need to bring our position forward, to catalyze it, if you want, and, in case there is no progress, to recognise the self-proclaimed republics of Luhansk and Donetsk," Mishustin said when President Putin asked him whether he supported the appeal from the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev.
"In the course of the negotiation process, a peaceful settlement plan arose, which is called the Minsk Package of Measures, since, as you remember, it was in the city of Minsk, where the summit was held. However, the entire course of subsequent events shows that the current Kiev authorities are not going to implement it - moreover, they have publicly announced that many times both at the highest state level and at the level of the Minister of Foreign Affairs," Putin said at the meeting.
"There is Article 5 of the treaty on the creation of NATO, from which it is clear that all the countries of the alliance should fight on the side of one of their members, should they come across any type of aggression. As long as no one recognises the will of the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol, Ukraine insists that this territory belongs to Ukraine, and there is a threat that they will start to recapture this territory that they consider their own. They say this in their documents, and the entire North Atlantic bloc will be obliged to join in those events."
“Dear colleagues, I've heard your opinion. The decision will be made today,” President Putin said at the end of the meeting of the Security Council.
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