Kremlin: Russia has ‘no plans to absorb Donbas’

Russia has no plans to absorb anyone, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, RBC reports.

"Russia has no plans to absorb anyone. It has never done that," he said.

Bloomberg news agency wrote the European Union fears that Moscow is preparing to annex the Donbas. The agency referred to an internal EU memo saying that organizing elections in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics and issuing passports to local residents "are aimed at actual integration of these Ukrainian territories to Russia."

Granting autonomy to the Donbas, could potentially block the implementation of Ukraine’s national tasks, such as joining NATO and the European Union, the agency said.

At the same time, representatives of NATO countries in the Committee on Policy and Security disagreed on the issue of Ukraine's accession to the bloc. Some of them supported the initiative, while others noted that Kyiv does not put sufficient effort into the implementation of the necessary reforms, in particular concerning the fight against corruption.

In July 2020, Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov commented on the statement of the first prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, Alexander Borodai, that the DPR and LPR will soon join Russia. Peskov said that the decision to grant Russian citizenship to the residents of DPR and LPR was made on the basis of "purely humanitarian considerations."

"As for any steps towards accession to Russia, I do not have any information on this matter," the Kremlin spokesman said at the time. He added that Moscow will continue to support the Donbas, as "we have not approached the moment of settlement of the situation in the southeast of Ukraine."

The previous President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko promoted the idea of introducing peacekeepers in the Donbas. In 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin supported the idea of deploying peacekeepers on the line of contact in the Donbas. Ukraine generally supported the initiative but did not agree to allow Russians to join the peacekeeping mission. Kyiv insisted on the deployment of peacekeepers on the border with Russia.

On May 11, 2021, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated that consensus on the introduction of UN peacekeepers in eastern Ukraine is unlikely in the near future. The UN Secretary General urged to continue "Normandy format" talks and adhere to the Minsk agreements.

  Donbas, Russia, Ukraine