State Duma passes accession laws for the new Russian constituents
The Russian State Duma announces the approval of the draft constitutional laws regarding the accession of the entirety of the DPR and LPR, as well as the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions.
On Monday, the Russian State Duma unanimously approved draft constitutional laws regarding the accession of the entirety of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and Lugansk People's Republic (LPR), as well as the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions to Russia during the first reading.
Residents of the new constituent entities are recognized, according to the State Duma laws, as Russian citizens effective September 30, the day the regions joined Russia. However, residents have up to a month to refuse Russian citizenship, otherwise, residents of the new territories can get their Russian citizenship by filing applications and being sworn in as Russian citizens.
The new laws, as per the State Duma, dictate that the DPR and LPR will maintain their status as republics, while Zaporozhye and Kherson will continue to be addressed as "regions". Russian will be considered the official language of all the recently acessioned constituents.
The republics' and regions' borders will be the same as they "existed on the day of their creation and accession into Russia." According to international accords, their borders with other nations shall be considered Russia's state borders. It is important to note that in parallel, the DPR and LPR are joining Russia under the 2014 boundaries stipulated in their constitutions.
Accession to Russia
A transition period will exist between the date of the new territories' accession to Russia and January 1, 2026. Russian citizens residing in the DPR, LPR, Zaporozhye, and Kherson regions, in particular, would be guaranteed the right to work.
Documentation stating their education and civil status, as well as their period of employment and eligibility for pensions, and social and medical assistance, will also be recognized.
By June 1, 2023, branches of federal government agencies will be established in the new republics and regions.
On January 1, 2023, the Russian ruble will replace the Ukrainian hryvnia as the only currency in the DPR, LPR, Kherson, and Zaporozhye regions, however, usage of the Ukrainian hryvnia will be authorized until the end of 2022. Furthermore, the new constituent entities will implement Russia's budget legislation on January 1, 2023, having budgets finalized by December 15, 2022.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Russia's formal recognition of the independence of the DPR and LPR in late February. This led to Ukraine escalating against the republics and using various tactics to try and undermine their leadership and hurt their civilians.
Putin went on to explain that the opinion of the people of the liberated regions was not up for discussion with Kiev. "Russia will not betray them."
The President promised to protect Russia's territories, by all means, saying Moscow would rebuild all the leveled cities and towns and back the industrial sector, develop enterprises, upgrade the infrastructure, and introduce healthcare systems.
"The West's claims to world domination have been shattered more than once by the courage of our soldiers," Putin said in light of various military feats achieved by the Russian military in Ukraine. "Russia is a thousand-year-old country-civilization that will not live by rigged rules."
"It was the West that trampled on the principle of the inviolability of borders, and now it decides who has the right to self-determination and who is 'not worthy' of it," the Russian leader added.
He was referencing the fact that several bodies and states have said they would not recognize the accession of the regions to Russia and the fact that the UN Security Council even moved to condemn the referenda.
The resolution - drafted by the United States and Albania - has no chance of passing thanks to Moscow's veto power, though it can then be presented to the United Nations General Assembly.
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