Russian President Vladimir Putin signed agreements to make the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions parts of the Russian Federation.
Together with him, the heads of the LPR and DPR, Leonid Pasechnik and Denis Pushilin, as well as the heads of Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, Vladimir Saldo and Evgeny Balitsky, put their signatures on the papers.
The ceremony to sign the agreements took place in the Georgievsky Hall of the Kremlin, where in 2014 a similar agreement was signed to make Crimea the Russian territory.
"I want the Kyiv authorities and their real masters in the West to hear me, so that everyone remembers this — people living in Luhansk and Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporozhye become our citizens forever,” Putin said.
He called on the Kyiv authorities to immediately stop hostilities, "the war that Kyiv unleashed back in 2014,” and return to the negotiating table.
"We are ready for this, we have said this more than once. The people is Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions have made their choice. It's done, and Russia won't betray it," the president added.
The agreements will then be sent to the Constitutional Court to determine their compliance with the fundamental law of Russia. Afterwards, a draft law will be drawn up on the basis of the signed agreement about the inclusion of the new territories. The draft law will then be ratified by the Upper and Lower Houses of the Russian parliament. The president will then sign the law before it comes into force.
The signed agreements imply the formation of new entities within Russia, as well as changes in the status of the borders of the LPR, DPR, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions — their borders become the state borders of the Russian Federation.
All residents of the above-mentioned regions will become citizens of Russia as soon as the agreements come into force. Those who announce their desire to retain their former citizenship or remain stateless will be allowed to do so. A transitional period will then start for the new territories, when their economic, financial and legal systems will be brought into line with the Russian legislation — all this was the case with Crimea.
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