Donetsk and Lugansk cards.. Russia is fueling the Ukrainian crisis

And the Russian “Interfax” news agency reported that the State Duma will consider the two drafts at the meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

The agency quoted a source as saying that Communist Party deputies submitted the first draft to the State Duma, and the draft would be submitted to Putin for approval after it was approved by Parliament.

Deputies of the “United Russia” party proposed the second draft, which provides for an invitation to the president to recognize the independence of the unilaterally declared republics, after approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Defense and other relevant agencies.

The Russian move comes at a time when the crisis between Moscow and the West is escalating against the backdrop of the United States’ claim that Russia is planning to invade Ukraine.

On Monday, the Kremlin described relations between Moscow and Washington as having reached “rock bottom”, despite the recent increase in bilateral dialogue between the two countries.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that there are specific channels for dialogue, and among the positives is the communication between President Putin and his American counterpart Joe Biden, who spoke by phone on Saturday, but relations in other aspects are still tense.

“The leaders of the two countries are in contact, there is dialogue on other fronts. This is a positive development because you know that only two years ago there was no dialogue, and there were no such contacts at all,” Peskov was quoted as saying in an interview by the RIA news agency.

He added, “But for the rest of the aspects, unfortunately, we can only talk about negatives in bilateral relations. We have reached a very low level. It is in fact at the bottom,” according to “Reuters”.

The United States said on Sunday that Russia could invade Ukraine at any time and could create a sudden pretext for an attack, and reiterated its pledge to defend “every inch” of NATO territory.

Russia has massed more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine, but has repeatedly denied any intention to invade its neighbor and accused the West of behaving “hysteria”.

Russia is holding joint military exercises with Belarus, Ukraine’s northern neighbor, and the Russian Defense Ministry said Sukhoi Su-30 fighters carried out joint patrols on the border between Russia and Belarus on Monday.

The newspaper “Izvestia”, quoting military sources, indicated that Russia will also send a group of ships armed with cruise and hypersonic missiles to the Black and Mediterranean Seas.

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet said on Saturday that more than 30 ships had begun exercises near Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014, as part of a wide range of exercises from the Pacific to the Atlantic, with all its fleets participating in January and February.

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