Lawmakers supported a document requesting President Putin to recognize the Luhansk People's Republic and the Donetsk People's Republic as independent and sovereign states.
On Tuesday, Russia's Lower House (Duma) gave the green light to a bill recognizing the republics of Luhansk and Donetsk in east Ukraine's breakaway region of Donbass.
At a plenary session, the lawmakers supported the document requesting Russian President Vladimir Putin to recognize "the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR)" and "the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR)" as independent and sovereign states.
According to the lawmakers, the inhabitants of both regions have been living under shelling for eight years and millions of people have become refugees, while the Ukrainian authorities have stopped paying pensions and providing social benefits while establishing a complete economic blockade.
"Our citizens and compatriots living in Donbass need help and support. In this regard, lawmakers believe that the recognition of the LPR and DPR will create grounds for guaranteeing the safety and protection of the inhabitants of the republics from external threats," Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin said.
He also warned that the members of the Ukraine Security Service might generate actions aimed at framing Donbass-based Russians in illegal actions to drag his country into a conflict with Ukraine.
"They may plant explosives on our citizens, then apprehend them, and accuse them of being 'Russian spies' plotting a blast in a building or on a bus or elsewhere. These provocative acts are plotted by the Security Service's specialists at the behest of foreign advisers residing there," Vodolatsky said, as reported by TASS.
A total of 351 deputies voted in favor of the bill and 16 others opposed it, TASS news agency reported. The bill will be sent to Putin immediately for his final approval.