LUHANSK, June 19 (RIA Novosti) – The self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) plans to establish diplomatic ties with Georgia’s former region of South Ossetia, according to the republic’s leader.
“We are about to enter talks with South Ossetia to establish diplomatic relations and put them down on paper in a package of corresponding documents,” LPR leader Valery Bolotov said at a Thursday press conference in the capital city of Luhansk.
Bolotov stressed that the people of Luhansk and he personally are grateful to the South Ossetian parliament and the nation’s president, Leonid Tibilov, for recognizing the Ukrainian breakaway republic’s sovereignty.
In mid-May the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics in eastern Ukraine held independence referendums. Following the vote, both republics declared independence from Ukraine, triggering a massive “anti-terror” operation by Ukraine’s army loyal to the coup-imposed authorities in Kiev.
In the wake of the crackdown, both territories declared themselves independent states on May 12, and refused to take part in the May 25 presidential vote in Ukraine. On June 18, South Ossetian President Leonid Tibilov signed a decree recognizing the independence of Luhansk from Ukraine.