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Russia’s recognition of Donbass republics not to impact Iran nuclear deal talks — diplomat

The talks in Vienna are proceeding routinely, Mikhail Ulyanov noted

VIENNA, February 22. /TASS/. The latest developments around Russia’s recognition of the Donbass republics will not impact the Vienna talks on the restoration of the Iran nuclear deal, which are nearing completion, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Vienna-based international organizations and head of the Russian delegation to the talks, Mikhail Ulyanov, told TASS on Tuesday.

"I don’t think so. The subject matter of the Vienna talks has nothing to do with Donbass on the international agenda. The talks in Vienna are proceeding routinely. Russia is playing a significant role in this process. The talks are nearing completion," he said, when asked to comment on possible impact of the situation around Donbass on the talks on the Iranian nuclear dossier.

Vienna is hosting the eighth round of talks on the restoration of the Iran nuclear deal in its original format and the return of the United States in this multilateral agreement. Consultations are being held within the Joint Commission of Iran and the five international mediators (Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, China, and France), the three working groups, and individually with the United States without Iran’s participation. This round is expected to be the last one as the negotiators are set to finish the work in February.

On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree recognizing the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR). Treaties of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance were signed with their leaders. Putin instructed the foreign ministry to establish diplomatic relations with the Donbass republics and the defense ministry to ensure peace on their territories.

Putin’s decision stirred a negative reaction in the West, which slammed it as a violation of international law and an infringement upon Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The United States and Great Britain have already announced their plans to impose further sanctions on Russia. The European Union, Canada, and Japan are looking at doing the same. Kiev trumpeted it "will not cede its territories to anyone."