MOSCOW, September 20. /TASS/. A referendum on the Donbass republics’ accession to Russia will definitely be held, legally enshrining the region and other liberated areas as part of Russia, First Deputy Speaker of Russia’s Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) and Secretary of the United Russia party's General Council Andrey Turchak said on Tuesday.
"A referendum is a necessity that is long overdue. It will definitely be held. A fair and open vote will legally consolidate its results once and for all. In fact, Donbass and other liberated areas already are part of Russia," Turchak pointed out.
"Joining Russia is what Donbass has been after for eight years. In May 2014, the people of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics waited in lines for hours at polling stations to cast their votes. They wanted to be part of Russia. No one could have thought back then that the future held eight long years of war, continuous shelling attacks by Ukrainian Nazis and the killing of civilians," Turchak emphasized.
On Monday, the Civic Chamber of the Lugansk People’s Republic called on LPR leader Leonid Pasechnik to immediately hold a referendum on recognizing the republic as a Russian constituent entity. The chamber emphasized that the move would ensure the LPR’s security and create new opportunities for its reconstruction. The DPR Civic Chamber later made the same request to Donetsk leader Denis Pushilin and the DPR People’s Council. Pushilin suggested later that the two republics should synchronize their efforts to prepare for the referendums.