MOSCOW, February 22. /TASS/. Russia’s State Duma on Tuesday unanimously ratified the treaties on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics (DPR and LPR), submitted by President Vladimir Putin. The Russian head of state declared the recognition of their sovereignty on Monday. The legislators introduced amendments to the laws on ratification saying the treaties were effective as of the moment of their publication.
The legislators gave the results of the voting a standing ovation.
"The bills are now forwarded to the Federation Council for our colleagues to consider. The president will then decide the future of ratification," State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said.
Putin signed the treaties with the heads of the Donbass republics - Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik. The agreements are identical. In part, they say that "the sides shall build their relations as friendly states, being systematically governed by the principles of mutual respect for state sovereignty, territorial integrity and peace settlement of disputes," as well as the principles of equality and non-interference.
Borders and security
Under the treaties either side shall let the other build and use military bases and facilities on its territory. "For the purpose of maintaining the security of the contracting parties and also peace and stability either contracting party shall grant the other contracting party the right to build, use and improve its military infrastructures (facilities) on its territory," the treaties say. In each individual case this provision will be applied within the framework of separate agreements.
The DPR and LPR borders will be guarded jointly "proceeding from the contracting parties’ interests of security and also peace and stability." A separate agreement will be concluded on this issue.
Russia will be taking effective measures to support the operation of the financial and banking systems of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics proceeding from the assumption the Russian ruble is the legal means of payment in their territory. According to the documents, the parties pledge to "ensure favorable economic, financial and legal conditions for business and other economic activity, including the encouragement and mutual protection of investments," and also to promote in all possible ways various forms of cooperation and direct people-to-people contacts.
The treaties with the DPR and LPR envisage further measures to link and unite the energy, transport and telecommunication systems.
"The contracting parties shall seek to achieve a high degree of economic integration and for these purposes they will be developing trading and economic cooperation and taking measures to unite energy and transport systems and interconnect communication and telecommunication systems," the treaty with the DPR says. A similar article is contained in the treaty with the Lugansk People’s Republic.
Double citizenship and protection of ethnic minorities
The citizens of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics will be able to have Russian citizenship on the established legal grounds. Either contracting party shall "recognize the documents issued by the bodies of state power and the bodies of local self-government of the other contracting party."
"The contracting parties shall ensure the protection of ethnic, language, cultural and religious identity of the ethnic minorities on their territories and create conditions for the preservation and development of this identity," one of the articles in both treaties says.
The sides will guarantee the members of ethnic minorities the right to express, preserve and develop their culture in all of its aspects, "without being subjected to any attempts at assimilation against their will." They also agreed to take effective measures on their territories to resist the instigation of violence on account of nationality, race, ethnic or religious intolerance, hostility or hatred.