Tuesday, March 21

Russian troops are deployed in eastern Ukraine after Putin’s recognition of the Donbas republics

Russian troops have already entered eastern Ukraine after Vladimir Putin recognized the self-proclaimed Donbas republics. And, immediately afterwards, by virtue of the agreements with Donetsk and Lugansk that provide for “the common defense against external aggression and the right to use the military infrastructure of each one”, it has ordered its Ministry of Defense to deal with the ” peacekeeping” in the region. That is, to send troops to eastern Ukraine, which would be de facto the occupation of part of the country contrary to the provisions of the Minsk agreements signed for the maintenance of the ceasefire in Donbas.

A source cited by Reuters has seen tanks and other military equipment moving through the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk. The source saw up to five tanks in a column on the outskirts of the city and two more in another part of the town, according to a Reuters reporter. There are no identifying signs on the vehicles.

According to the Kremlin, Putin has already signed treaties of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with the head of the DPR, Denis Pushilin, and that of the LPR, Leonid Pasechnik.

According to RussiaToday, the mutual cooperation agreements are still being finalized, but the text of the Duma, the Russian Parliament, which had voted a few days ago in favor of asking the Kremlin to recognize the Donbas regions, has circulated. According to RT, friendship and mutual assistance treaties have a duration of at least 10 years.

In article 5, both parties are given the right to “build, use and improve military infrastructure, bases and other elements in their territory.” Thus, the Kremlin has already ordered the deployment of Russian troops in the two regions, while the formal treaty on military cooperation is sealed.

Article 6, for its part, prohibits both parties from “entering blocs or alliances directed against either of them,” and will not allow their territory to be used to launch attacks against each other.

On the other hand, article 11 provides for the free movement of citizens and obliges both Russia and the republics to “develop and implement an agreed set of measures to regulate the regime of entry and exit from their territory of citizens of third countries.”

Article 13, furthermore, obliges the parties to protect the “ethnic, linguistic, cultural and religious identity of national minorities in their territories and create the conditions to preserve and develop” these identities while guaranteeing the individual and collective rights of minorities “without being the object of any attempt at assimilation against their will”.

Donetsk and Lugansk declared their independence from Ukraine in 2014, after the fall of the government in Kiev. They sought recognition from Russia at the time, but Moscow did not grant it to them then.

Cascade of sanctions

This Tuesday a cascade of sanctions is expected by the United States, the European Union, Canada and the United Kingdom. The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, has called this Tuesday a meeting of foreign ministers this Tuesday in Paris, where many of them are for a meeting organized by the French rotating presidency of the EU on cooperation in the Indo- Peaceful.