Russian Parliament Approves Putin’s Request to Use Military Forces Outside Russia

The upper house of the Russian parliament unanimously voted on Feb. 22 to approve a request from President Vladimir Putin to use military forces outside the country.

The Federation Council quickly approved the Putin’s request after he sent a letter asking to formalize a military deployment to the Russian-backed breakaway Luhansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine.

The move came into immediate effect and it came just hours after the United States said an invasion of Ukraine has begun.

Western officials also said the Russian troops deployment were part of Russia’s attempts to create a pretext for an invasion of Ukraine.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that Russian troops were already “moving in.”

The parliamentary approval came a day after Putin recognized the independence of the states, a move that the West said was a violation of international law.

Putin later laid out three conditions to end the deepening crisis that has threatened to plunge Europe into war and into a global economic chaos.

Included in the conditions were the international recognition of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, as part of Russia and an end to Ukraine’s ambition to join NATO.

Putin also called for Western nations to halt weapon shipments to Ukraine.

At a press conference, Putin also said that the Minsk accord, which sought to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine, “does not exist” anymore, placing the blame on Ukraine.

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