Mubasher: The West threatens Russia with sanctions while Putin orders his forces to enter eastern Ukraine

Western powers quickly reacted to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision on Monday to recognize the independence of the two self-proclaimed republics in eastern Ukraine, condemning Moscow and calling for sanctions. Follow France 24 for live updates.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Russian military to act as peacekeepers in two breakaway regions of Ukraine, just hours after recognizing them as independents.

Putin’s recognition of the breakaway republics as an independent state effectively buries a fragile 2015 peace plan for the conflict, and opens the door for direct Russian military involvement.

In two official decrees, Putin ordered the Defense Ministry to take over a “peacekeeping function” in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

Moscow did not provide any details or date of any deployment, only saying that it “enters into force from the day it was signed.”

12:23 Paris time, US to “assess” Russia’s moves After Putin ordered troops into Ukraine, the US took a wait-and-see stance on Monday for President Vladimir Putin’s order to deploy Russian forces into Ukraine’s breakaway regions, saying talks were possible “until Tanks roll.”

“We will evaluate what Russia did,” a senior US official told reporters, saying that Russian forces had been in the shadows in the breakaway regions for eight years.

“The move of Russian forces to Donbass will not be a new step,” he said. “We will continue to pursue diplomacy until the tanks roll.”

The United States and its allies requested an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Ukraine Monday The United States and its allies, including France, requested an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council later Monday on Russia’s recognition of the breakaway territories of Ukraine as diplomats.

The same sources said that the countries behind the meeting request, based on a letter from Ukraine to the United Nations, also include the United Kingdom, Ireland and Albania.

It is up to the rotating presidency of the council, which is currently held by Russia, to officially set the date of the meeting.

(France 24, Agence France-Presse, The Associated Press, Reuters)

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