Putin’s point man on Ukraine says unrecognized Donetsk & Lugansk republics will NOT join Russia
The idea of the two Donbass republics joining Russia has not been discussed, according to Dmitry Kozak, the deputy head of the presidential administration, focused on the relationship with Ukraine.
Donbass is home to two self-proclaimed states, the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR). The two Ukrainian regions announced their independence following the Euromaidan coup in 2014. The two republics remain unrecognized, and Russia considers them to be Ukrainian territory.
Kozak's comments came after Alexander Borodai, the former prime minister of the DPR, announced that the entry of Donbass into Russia was imminent. Borodai explained that the two republics are already “de facto” parts of Russia, but will soon be “de jure.”
In response, the Russian official explained that Borodai's statements were not true, and the notion of integrating Donbass into Russia wasn't even a topic of conversation.
“This is the sole opinion of the authors of these statements. At the state level, questions on this topic have never been discussed. We have not lost hope for a peaceful political settlement of the conflict. We are vitally interested in this,” Kozak said in an interview with news agency TASS.
On Monday, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters he was unaware that the DPR and LPR could possibly become a part of Russia. Peskov however, noted that many people in the two self-proclaimed republics had been given a Russian passport.
“The decision to provide them with Russian citizenship was made solely for humanitarian reasons, after these people had been abandoned by their own government and were put at risk of being killed,” he explained.
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