War in Ukraine: what process in Russia after the annexation referendums?

The pro-Russian authorities of the Ukrainian regions of Zaporizhia, Kherson, Luhansk and Donetsk claimed, Tuesday, September 27, the victory of the “yes” in favor of annexation by Russia, during the annexation referendums organized by Moscow and denounced by kyiv and its Western backers. Here is how the rest of the process should unfold, according to Russian media and following the example of the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

An express vote of Parliament

After the victory of the “yes”, the next step is for the Russian Parliament, which is supposed to vote in the coming days on a treaty formalizing the integration of the four regions into Russian territory. A draft law to this effect should be submitted to the Duma, before adoption at an extraordinary session.

Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said on Friday that he “would support” the integration of the territories controlled by the Russians into Russia following the referendum. The text will then have to pass before the upper house of Parliament, the Council of the Federation. A formality that could be completed on Wednesday or Thursday, according to the Russian news agencies Tass and Ria Novosti.

A speech by Vladimir Putin

In the wake of the parliamentary process, President Vladimir Putin could deliver a speech as early as September 30 to formally announce the annexation of Ukrainian territories, according to several Russian agencies. Some media refer to a speech to parliamentarians gathered in the Kremlin, others to a speech to one of the two chambers of Parliament.

According to Tass, senators were ordered to carry out three anti-Covid tests in anticipation of a “important event” Friday, a strict sanitary measure to which those who meet the president in the Kremlin must submit. But it is not excluded that Vladimir Putin decides to speak before this date.

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A similar treaty to annex Crimea

Vladimir Putin can also speak even before the vote of the Russian Parliament, as he did in 2014. The President of Russia then signed a treaty attaching Crimea to his country, barely two days after the referendum that the Russian authorities had organized there, during a ceremony in the Kremlin. This annexation was not recognized by the international community.

The scenario seems to repeat itself:he allies of Ukraine have denounced these annexation referendums, organized in an emergency in the face of the advance of kyiv’s forces. “Russia’s recognition of ‘pseudo-referendums’ as ‘normal’, the implementation of the same scenario as in Crimea and yet another attempt to annex part of Ukrainian territory means that we do not have to discuss with the current Russian president”denounced Tuesday evening the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

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