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Putin Signs Russian Recognition of Donbas Republics; White House Announces Local Sanctions

Feb. 21, 2022 (EIRNS)—A determined Russian President Vladimir Putin today “signed decrees recognizing the independence of Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, as well as treaties on friendship and cooperation between Russia and D.P.R. and L.P.R.,” per the announcement on Twitter by the Russian Foreign Ministry. And according to RIA Novosti, the Russian President subsequently responded to calls from those republics and ordered Russian armed forces to begin a peacekeeping mission in those republics. He demanded that Ukraine cease all military operations against the two republics or face consequences.

Putin cited three main factors impelling the action, which had been authorized in a resolution in Russia’s State Duma on Feb. 17: NATO’s decades of (recently thoroughly documented) breaking of the promises made by Western leaders in 1990-91, not to expand east of unified Germany; Ukraine’s having become since the 2014 coup “a colony with a puppet government” of the United States and NATO powers; and Ukrainian President Zelenskyy’s reference to Ukraine’s ability to become a nuclear power, or in Putin’s words, “Ukraine plans to create its own nuclear weapons.”

The major NATO countries, whose 25 years’ relentlessly increasing pressure against Russia’s western borders and nuclear deterrent have finally led to this crisis, are responding with financial sanctions, though the exact nature of the sanctions is under a good deal of discussion. Among those in Europe quickly calling for immediate and/or maximum sanctions were: EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell; outgoing NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg; British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss; EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen; Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki; and Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs.

The White House announced a forthcoming Executive Order from President Biden

“that will prohibit new investment, trade, and financing by U.S. persons to, from, or in the so-called DNR and LNR regions of Ukraine.... The Departments of State and Treasury will have additional details shortly. We will also soon announce additional measures....” The statement made clear that these are not the “severe economic measures we have been preparing should Russia further invade Ukraine.”

It should be recalled that President Putin, in a press conference last week with Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko, had said that strong economic sanctions were going to be imposed on Russia no matter what further course it followed in the crisis, since the current purpose of Great Britain and United States is to slow down, if possible to stop entirely, the economic development of Russia and Belarus. This purpose for financial sanctions was stated on the record by unidentified senior administration officials in a background press briefing Jan. 25. The other target of the NATO powers is China, and the economic and strategic partnership announced by China and Russia in Beijing on Feb. 4 is fundamentally changing the world situation.

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