Ukraine : the Putin’s oukase

The President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, made official this 21 February 2022 the recognition of the independence of the pro-Russian separatist territories of Ukraine. Europe and the United States are preparing sanctions against Russia.

The head of the Kremlin has surprised everyone. Vladimir Putin has not (yet) invaded Ukraine as the West had feared. He has simply recognized the independence of the pro-Russian separatist regions of Donbass and ordered the armed forces to ensure “peacekeeping” on the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk. In doing so, he shatters the 2014 Minsk agreements and puts the West in an uncomfortable position since he is not talking about war but peace.

“Friendship and mutual aid”

At the end of his televised speech, President Putin signed two decrees. One by which he recognizes the independence of the two self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk; the other by which he asks the Russian forces to maintain peace in the region. They also specify the terms of “friendship and mutual assistance” between the Russian Federation and the two small republics. In other words, these agreements would allow Moscow to intervene if the integrity of the separatist territories were threatened.

Chain reactions

These unilateral decisions of Moscow have surprised everyone. Including Emmanuel Macron who announced a de-escalation of the crisis and mentioned a summit meeting, Putin/Biden under the auspices of France.
In a statement, the Elysee said that “The President of the Republic condemns the decision taken by the President of the Russian Federation to recognize the separatist regions of eastern Ukraine. This is clearly a unilateral violation of Russia’s international commitments and an attack on the sovereignty of Ukraine. It calls for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council as well as the adoption of targeted European sanctions.”
NATO condemns, of course, The United States and Europe announce sanctions against Russia.