Eastern Europe

Russia – East Ukraine’s Lugansk/Donetsk People’s Republics To Soon Hold Referendums To Join Russian Federation

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Russian state media is reporting the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), as well as the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in war-torn and Russian-controlled East Ukraine may soon hold elections to confirm joining the Russian Federation.

The authorities of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) do not rule that in the near future a referendum on joining Russia may be held, according to head of the republic Leonid Pasechnik. Russia’s Federation Council has already stated that the LPR has the authority to make any self-sufficient decisions. However, there are those among Russian lawmakers who consider holding any referendums premature. At the same time, a similar initiative by the authorities of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) cannot be ruled out, Izvestia writes. These attempts may result in further anti-Russian sanctions, but Western countries are unlikely to agree to a complete break in diplomatic relations with Russia, writes Russian state news agency TASS.

“This initiative is impossible to implement in light of the ongoing hostilities on our territory,” adviser to the head of the LPR and representative of the political working group at the Minsk talks Rodion Miroshnik told the newspaper. “We need all our residents to have the opportunity to participate in the referendum, but for now this is impossible,” he added.

The Federation Council reacted quickly to Lugansk’s initiative, with Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building Andrey Klishas recalling that Russia recognized the sovereignty of the republics, so their authorities have the right to make any decisions they see fit in accordance with their respective constitutions.

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