MOSCOW, February 22. /TASS/. The Federation Council at a special session on Tuesday unanimously ratified the agreements on friendship, cooperation, and mutual assistance with the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, which were submitted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who on Monday stated they should be recognized as independent.
The senators met the results of the vote with applause.
The treaties are signed by Putin and the heads of the republics: Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik. According to the agreements, which are identical, "the sides will build their relations as friendly states, being consistently guided by the principles of mutual respect of their sovereignty and territorial integrity and peaceful resolution of any disagreements" and based on the principles of equality and non-interference.
The treaties cover the economy, including the use of the Russian ruble, defense and border protection, rights of ethnic minorities, and so on. They will take effect when officially published.
The agreements will run for 10 years and will be regularly automatically extended for five more years. According to the documents, the borders of the DPR and LPR "will be protected jointly by the agreeing sides based on the interests of their security and peace and stability."
Separate agreements will be concluded for this issue. Also, the agreements stipulate that each side will give the other the right to build and use military bases on its respective territory. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko said earlier that the agreements also envisage mutual military assistance.
The treaties also aim to protect the ethnic, linguistic, cultural, and religious identity of minorities. DPR and LPR citizens will be able to have Russian passports in accordance with existing legislation. The sides will sign additional agreements that will regulate dual citizenship.
The treaties establish that each of the sides will recognize documents issued by state authorities and local self-government bodies of the other side.
According to the agreements, Russia will take measures to maintain the financial and banking systems of the DPR and LPR, based on the fact that the legal tender on their territory is the Russian ruble.
In addition, according to the documents, the sides of the agreements undertake to "provide favorable economic, financial and legal conditions for entrepreneurial and other economic activities, including the encouragement and mutual protection of investments," as well as to encourage various forms of cooperation and direct ties between the citizens of the sides. It is also envisaged to unify the civil and tax legislation of the sides and the legislation on retirement pensions.