US Condemns Russia’s Recognition of Ukrainian Separatist Regions

  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken has condemned Russia’s recognition of two separatist regions in Ukraine.
  • Russia’s move is a “clear attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty,” he said in a statement.
  • He added that President Biden will be acting to bar all trade and investment with the “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.”

On Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement condemning Russia’s recognition of two separatist territories in Ukraine as independent states.

The decision to recognize the independence of the “so-called ‘Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics” is a “clear attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said. The US does not recognize either area as a republic. Blinken also noted that Russia’s move also violates its commitments under the Minsk agreements — two deals meant to quell further conflict in eastern Ukraine — and contradicts the country’s claim that it was committed to diplomacy.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a presidential decree that ordered “peacekeeping” troops into Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donestk regions. The order came after Putin recognized the territories as independent states.

“States have an obligation not to recognize a new ‘state’ created through the threat or use of force, as well as obligations not to disrupt another state’s borders,” Blinken said in his statement. “Russia’s decision is yet another example of President Putin’s flagrant disrespect for international law and norms.”

Blinked added that President Joe Biden would be signing an Executive Order that would ban all new business dealings by US citizens with the separatist regions.

“We will continue to coordinate with Ukraine and our Allies and partners to take appropriate steps in response to this unprovoked and unacceptable action by Russia,” he said, noting that the order would allow humanitarian work in the regions to continue.

Expressing US support for Ukraine, Blinken said, “We stand with our Ukrainian partners in strongly condemning President Putin’s announcement.”

In a separate statement Monday night, Blinken confirmed that US embassy staff who had been situationd from Lviv, Ukraine to Poland, would spend the night in Poland as the “security in Ukraine continues to be unpredictable throughout the country and may deteriorate with little notice.” However, staff “will regularly return to continue their diplomatic work in Ukraine,” he said.

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