By an absolute majority... State Duma recognizes Lugansk, Donetsk
Kyiv considers this to be Russia's de facto and legal withdrawal from the Minsk agreements.
Today, Tuesday, the Russian State Duma voted in favor of a draft resolution recognizing the Lugansk and Donetsk republics and the independence of Donbas.
Al Mayadeen's correspondent said that the State Duma's decision to recognize the republics of Donetsk and Luhansk will be signed immediately and referred to President Putin for consideration.
Before the vote, Kyiv announced that it would consider Moscow's recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics as Russia's de facto and legal withdrawal from the Minsk Agreements with all the consequences that it entails.
On Monday, the United Russia party submitted to the State Duma a draft resolution on recognizing the independence of the self-proclaimed republics of Lugansk and Donetsk.
It is noteworthy that this is the second draft submitted for recognition. A few days ago, Speaker of the Russian State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, had called for parliamentary consultations to discuss recognizing the independence of the Donbas region from Ukraine.
The conflict in the Donbas region between the Ukrainian government and the republics of Donetsk and Luhansk (unilaterally declared) has been ongoing since 2014, and negotiations were held within the Minsk agreements to find a political solution to the conflict.
However, the agreement has not been adhered to and clashes continue at sporadic times, and Moscow has repeatedly stated that Kyiv "does not abide by the Minsk agreements and delays negotiations to resolve the conflict."
Donetsk had earlier welcomed the initiative of Russian parliamentarians to arm the Donetsk and Lugansk republics for self-defense, and Al Mayadeen correspondent said at the time that "Russian parties support the proposal to arm the Donetsk and Lugansk republics for self-defense."
This came after the First Deputy Chairman of the International Committee in the Russian State Duma, Vladimir Jabarov, said that military aid to the Donbas region may be provided in the form of defensive weapons.