Russia has recognized the independence of the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decrees published by the official database of legislative information on Friday.

One document recognizes “state sovereignty and independence of the Zaporozhye Region,” the other – of the Kherson Region. Both decrees come into force on the day they were signed.

According to the documents, the Russian president’s decision is based on universal principles and norms of the international law, acknowledging and confirming the principle of equality and self-determination of peoples enshrined by the UN Charter, and with regard to the will of the people expressed in a referendum.

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According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, a ceremony to sign accession treaties with four new territories – the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR), as well as the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions – will be held in the Kremlin at 15:00 Moscow time.

Russia recognized the independence of the DPR and the LPR in February.

Referendums on becoming a part of Russia were held in the DPR and the LPR, as well as in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions from September 23 to 27. In the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, the ballot question read as follows: “Are you in favor of the region leaving Ukraine, creating an independent state, and joining the Russian Federation?” An overwhelming majority of residents answered positively to those questions. Earlier, Putin said that Moscow would support the decision made during these referendums.

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