The move comes hours after Moscow backed their independence
https://www.rt.com-© Sputnik / Ilya Pitalev
The breakaway republics in Donetsk and Lugansk have ratified a friendship and assistance treaty with Moscow, formally opening the door to receiving military and financial support, after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree recognizing their independence.
In statements released simultaneously on Tuesday, the parliament of the Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk’s People’s Council declared that the decision to ratify the ‘Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with the Russian Federation’ had been passed unanimously by both assemblies.
The day before, Putin held a televised national address in which he said “I deem it necessary to make a decision that should have been made a long time ago” and to “immediately” recognize both as sovereign states. The move, he said, was in response to years of fighting in Ukraine’s war-torn east and Kiev’s attempts to “drag foreign states into conflict with our country” with its efforts to join NATO.