The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Thursday that it’s severing diplomatic ties with Syria after Damascus recognized the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in Donbass.
Syria Recognizes Lugansk and Donetsk as Independent States
In a statement published on its website, the ministry said it “strongly condemns” Syria’s decision, which it considers an “unfriendly act against Ukraine” and an “encroachment on its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“In response to this unfriendly act, Ukraine declares the severance of diplomatic relations with Syria without the severance of consular relations,” the message reads further.
Kiev has also said that it intends to impose a trade embargo on Syria and is considering “other sanctions on Syrian legal entities and individuals.”
On Wednesday, Syrian state news agency SANA quoted a foreign ministry official as saying that the Syrian Arab Republic has decided to recognize the independence and sovereignty of both the Lugansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Syria has become the second country among UN members, following Russia, to formally recognize the independence of the two states which make up the Donbass region. Both republics broke from Kiev’s control in 2014 after a Western-backed coup ousted the democratically-elected president Viktor Yanukovych. Their decision prompted Kiev to try to reclaim the areas by force, leading to an eight-year conflict and thousands of casualties.
Russia launched a military offensive against Ukraine on February, 24, following requests from both republics, and citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, meant to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state.
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.