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Zelensky Says Kiev Considering Possibility of Severing Diplomatic Relations With Russia

© Sputnik / Alexey Vitvitsky / Go to the mediabankUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky  - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.02.2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier satisfied the request by the country's parliament and the two Donbass republics and recognised the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR). He made this call amid continuing shelling of the two republics by Kiev's armed forces.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has stated that he received a request from the Foreign Ministry to cut diplomatic ties with Russia amid the latter's recognition of the DPR and LPR's independence and that he was considering this option.
"Immediately after our press conference, I will contemplate this issue and not just it, but also on our practical steps regarding the escalation by Russia", he said.
Zelensky claimed that by recognising the two republic's independence Russia engaged in "legal aggression that creates a foothold for further escalation" by Moscow. At the same time, the president expressed his opinion that there won't be a "powerful war" against Ukraine or an escalation by Russia, but promised to introduce martial law if it happens.
The Kremlin responded to the news, saying it considers the cutting of diplomatic ties with Ukraine as an unwanted scenario, insisting that it will make the lives of citizens of both countries even more complicated. Moscow stressed that it remains open for and interested in diplomatic contacts.

Russia Recognises Two Donbass Republics

On 21 February, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to recognise the independence of DPR and LPR and sign friendship treaties with them, which include provisions for collective defence and security and allowed Moscow to deploy a peacekeeping mission there.
The decision came in the wake of the deteriorating situation at the line of contact between Kiev's forces and the two republics, with Ukraine starting to shell cities and positions in the DPR and LPR last week. The OSCE monitoring mission has spotted over 2,000 ceasefire violations, with the LPR saying that the OSCE recorded Kiev violating humanitarian law.
Moscow also cited Kiev's continuous refusal to implement the Minsk agreements signed in 2015 and designed to be a roadmap for ending the conflict in Donbass and reintegrating it back into Ukraine. In 2015, Russia abstained from recognising the two republics to make way for these agreements and leave the door open for their reintegration into Ukraine.
The move to recognise the DPR and LPR was met with support by the Syrian government, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but was harshly criticised by the US, the EU, NATO, and Ukraine. The West threatened to slap Moscow with sanctions they have been devising for months in the event of a Russian "invasion" of Ukraine.
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