Duma wants recognition of separatist republics

The Russian Duma has submitted a petition to President Putin calling on him to recognise the independence of the "people's republics" of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine declared by pro-Russian separatists. Russian commentators examine the potential consequences of such a move.

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Nezavisimaya Gazeta (RU) /

A bad move for Russia

Russia may hurt its own interests by doing this, Nezavisimaya Gazeta argues:

“Recognising these entities would above all be a political step that would at the same time signify Russia's voluntary withdrawal from the Minsk Agreement. As is well known, Putin wrote the draft of the agreement himself. Why should he renounce the legitimacy of Russia's position, which is backed by a UN Security Council resolution? The anti-Russian sanctions that would then be unavoidable would trigger a noticeable deterioration in the economic situation of the country and its citizens. And the additional spending required to finance life and a new order in the annexed territories would lead to more inflation and a slump in real incomes - which would undermine internal stability.”

Radio Kommersant FM (RU) /

Aim is to leave the situation unresolved

Radio Kommersant FM sees the demand as a tactical move by the Kremlin:

“Recognising the DNR and LNR would be tantamount to renouncing the Minsk agreements. In many respects this would be favourable for Kyiv at the moment and very disadvantageous for Moscow, as it would further escalate the tensions and trigger endless sanctions. ... From a political point of view, however, the Duma's decision is logical and only to be expected: it's about leaving the situation unresolved, and Ukraine - and the West - in the dark.”