Russian President Vladimir Putin was photographed signing decrees recognising the independence of two Russia-backed breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk. (Alexey Nikolsky – AFP/Lehtikuva)

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FINLAND has expressed its condemnation of Russia’s unilateral acts that violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

The Office of the President of the Republic issued a press release yesterday evening, declaring that recognising the separatist-controlled regions in eastern Ukraine constitutes a serious breach of the Minsk Agreement.

Finland will respond to the acts as part of the European Union, according to the press release. Leaders of the 27-country bloc stated earlier yesterday that the bloc and its partners will react to the recognition of the separatist regions with “unity firmness and determination” in solidarity with Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed decrees recognising the independence of the so-called people's republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. The Kremlin then proceeded to order troops to the regions to carry out what it described as “peacekeeping functions”.

Putin signed the decrees after delivering a protracted, emotional address in which he laid out a broad case, based partly on historical grievances, against Ukraine.

The address, in turn, was delivered after a day of building drama in Moscow, with state-controlled television broadcasting pleas for recognitions of independence from the leaders of the two breakaway regions and claims of Ukrainian shelling against civilian targets in the regions, claims that were denied as “fake news” by Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden reacted to the development by announcing economic sanctions on the two regions but not on Russia.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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