Moscow,SANA-President Vladimir Putin on Friday has signed the treaties on the inclusion of the two Donbass republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, which declared independence from Ukraine, into the Russian Federation.
The heads of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik, as well as the leaders of Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, Vladimir Saldo and Evgeny Balitsky, signed the accession treaties together with Putin at Friday’s ceremony.
The move follows official requests by the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as the two southern Ukrainian regions, which declared independence, to join Russia. All four territories held referendums on the issue between September 23 and 27, which saw overwhelming support for the move, according to the results announced earlier this week by the local election committees.
In Donetsk, 99.23% of the people voted to reunite with Russia, with Lugansk showing a slightly lower figure of 98.42%. Zaporozhye Region highly supported the idea of splitting from Ukraine and joining Russia, with around 93% of voters backing it. Some 87% voted in favor in Kherson Region as well.
The treaties will now be submitted to Russia’s Constitutional Court, which will assess them to ensure they do not violate Russian law. Once they are cleared, the agreements will have to be ratified first by the State Duma – the lower house of the Russian parliament – and then by the Federal Council, its upper house.
The lawmakers will also need to pass legislation on incorporating the two republics and two regions into Russia. The Donbass republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye, will become part of Russia no sooner than the law is signed by President Putin.