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russia: House nod for Putin clears path for troops in Ukraine


Having recognised the independence of two separatist-controlled regions of eastern Ukraine and approved sending of troops there, Russian president Vladimir Putin lost no time in securing permission from lawmakers on Tuesday to use for- ce outside Russia, in a move that could pave the way for a broader attack on the country.
The Federation Council vote effectively formalises Russian troop deployment to the rebel regions of Donetsk and Luhansk where an 8-year conflict has killed 14,000.
The White House on Tuesday referred to the troop deployments as an “invasion” after initially hesitating to use the term — a red line that President Joe Biden has said would result in the US levying severe sanctions against Moscow. Biden is due to address the nation past midnight India time.
“We envisioned waves of sanctions we would roll out on Russia if and as it continues to take steps down the path for toward war, which we believe they are doing,” deputy national security adviser Jonathan Finer said. EU foreign ministers agreed to sanction 27 Russians and entities as well as banks, the defence sector and limit access to capital markets. Germany has suspended certification for the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, designed to double flow from Russia.

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