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Ukraine sever diplomatic ties with Syria: Recognize Donetsk, Luhansk independence

Ukraine sever diplomatic ties with Syria: Recognize Donetsk, Luhansk

Ukraine has severed diplomatic ties with Syria after Damascus recognized the independence of the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, has announced this decision through a post in the Telegram.

"There will be no more relations between Ukraine and Syria," Zelensky said, adding that the pressure on sanctions against Syria "will be even greater."

Donetsk and Luhansk, known together as the Donbas, are facing fierce fighting as a result of Moscow's war against Ukraine, shortly after recognizing the independence of the two regions. Parts of Luhansk and Donetsk have been under the control of Moscow-backed separatists since Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014. Leonid Pasechnik, the separatist leader in Luhansk, thanked Syria and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. for what he considered a "responsible and courageous political gesture" for recognizing Luhansk as a sovereign and independent state, the Russian news agency TASS reported.

Syria, a close ally of Russia, has benefited from Russian military assistance in its civil war, being the first country, after Russia, to recognize the independence of these two separatist regions. Syria has also been on Russia's side in the past. In 2018, it agreed to recognize Abkhazia and Ossetia, breakaway regions of Georgia, as independent states. The move has prompted Georgia to sever ties with Syria.

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