Putin “most likely” to sign the annexation laws today, says Kremlin

The laws on the illegal annexation of four regions in Ukraine will “most likely” be signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, according to the Kremlin’s spokesperson.

“Most likely, the laws will be signed (by President Putin) today,” Dmitry Peskov said during a daily call with journalists.

Earlier Tuesday, Russia’s upper house of parliament approved unanimously the illegal accession of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, and the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. Russia’s lower house of parliament also voted unanimously for the four laws — one for each region — on Monday, according to Russia’s state-run TASS news agency.

The procedure was expected to be a formality, as Putin and his allies effectively control both branches of the Russian legislature.

Some context: Putin said during a ceremony at the Kremlin on Friday that the millions of people living in the four territories would be Russian citizens “forever”, as he announced the illegal annexation process in defiance of international law.

In recent weeks, Moscow-backed leaders in the four Ukrainian regions held so-called referendums on joining Russia. The ballots are illegal under international law and were dismissed by Ukraine and Western leaders as “sham.”

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