“We are ready to react with a united and strong front... if there is recognition, I will put the sanctions on the table,” the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Borrell threatened.
On Monday, Russia's President Vladimir Putin held telephone conversations with the French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, informing them that he intends to sign a decree to recognize the Lugansk and Donetsk republics.
A few hours earlier, the leaders of these republics asked Putin to recognize the independence of their territories and provide them with cooperation to defend them.
"In order to prevent the large-scale death of the civilian population of the republic, including 300,000 Russian citizens, I ask you to recognize the sovereignty and independence of the Lugansk People’s Republic," said Leonid Passetchnik, as reported by GN Nouvelle.
"In the name of all the people, we ask you to recognize the People’s Republic of Donetsk as an independent, democratic, legal and social state," Denis Pushilin stressed.
Intense fighting in Ukraine’s breakaway republic of Lugansk.— Murad Gazdiev (@MuradGazdiev) February 21, 2022
Power lines destroyed & power station hit during Ukrainian military shelling.
This comes as amid ferocious bombardment in the outskirts of separatist Donetsk, which is ongoing since the early hours of the morning pic.twitter.com/wBGXZiOsxA
Meanwhile, the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell asked the Russian president not to recognize the independence of the breakaway republics, which are located in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.
“We are ready to react with a united and strong front, if you decide to do so... Certainly if there is an annexation, there will be sanctions. And if there is recognition, I will put the sanctions on the table and the ministers will decide,” Borell threatened.
On Feb. 16, Russia's Lower House passed a bill asking Putin to recognize the republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. The announcement made by the Russian president also occurs in the midst of increasing Ukrainian military attacks on those territories, which are defended by their own armies fighting as guerrillas.