President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, amid the signing by his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin of a decree recognizing the independence of the self-proclaimed "L/DPR", assured Ukrainians that there is no reason to panic yet. He also stressed that the Kremlin's actions could mean Russia's unilateral withdrawal from the Minsk agreements and ignoring the decisions reached within the Normandy Four.
"As soon as we see the situation change, as soon as we see increasing risk, you will know about all this. Now there is no reason for chaotic actions, we will do our best to keep it that way. We are committed to the peaceful and diplomatic path, we will follow them and only them. We are on our own land, we are not afraid of anyone and anything, we owe nothing to anyone, and we will not give anything to anyone, and we are sure of this. Because it is not February 2014 now, but February 2022."
President of Ukraine
The head of state stressed that the borders of the Ukrainian state would remain unchanged—as recognized by the international community. Zelenskyy also suggested that by recognizing the "LPR" and "DPR", Moscow would, in fact, legalize its troops that had already been in the occupied territories of Ukraine since 2014.
"Ukraine unequivocally qualifies the recent actions of the Russian Federation as a violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state. All responsibility for the consequences of aforementioned decisions rests with Russia."
President of Ukraine
Context. Recall: on the evening of February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees recognizing the so-called "DPR" and "LPR" as independent. One of the paragraphs of both decrees provides for the implementation of peacekeeping functions by Russia on their territory.
Putin's decision was widely condemned by the international community. Together with him, only Syrian President Bashar al-Assad volunteered to recognize the independence of the "L/DPR".
After signing the relevant decree by Putin, Zelenskyy held telephone conversations with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and President of the European Council Charles Michel.