Kremlin decision on eastern Ukraine

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We strongly condemn President Putin’s decision to recognize the so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics” as “independent”. As we said when the Duma first made its request: this decision represents a total rejection of Russia’s commitments under the Minsk agreements, directly contradicts Russia’s stated commitment to diplomacy and constitutes a clear attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

States have an obligation not to recognize a new “state” created by the threat or use of force, as well as an obligation not to disturb the borders of another state. Russia’s move is another example of President Putin’s blatant disregard for international law and standards.

President Biden will sign an executive order that will prohibit all new investment, trade, and financing by U.S. persons to, from, or within the so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics” regions of Ukraine. We will continue to coordinate with Ukraine and our allies and partners to take appropriate action in response to this unprovoked and unacceptable Russian action. The EO is designed to prevent Russia from profiting from this flagrant violation of international law. It is not directed against the Ukrainian people or the Ukrainian government and will allow humanitarian and other related activities to continue in these areas.

Our support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and for the government and people of Ukraine is unwavering. We join our Ukrainian partners in strongly condemning President Putin’s announcement.

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