North Korea on Wednesday recognized the independence of the two Russian-backed breakaway republics in eastern Ukraine, Donetsk and Lugansk, Russian news agency Tass reported.
In a post on Telegram, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Denis Pushilin, said he expected “fruitful cooperation” and increased trade with Kim Jong-un’s regime.
Pyongyang’s decision, which follows in the footsteps of Russia and Syria, was confirmed by the North Korean embassy in Moscow, according to the Tass news agency.
For Pushilin, “the international status of the Donetsk People’s Republic continues to strengthen.”
In turn, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine announced the severing of diplomatic relations with North Korea due to the recognition of the “independence” of the Donbass territories, temporarily occupied by the Russian army.
The information was released by the Unian agency, citing a statement from the ministry, in which spokesman Oleg Nikolenko says that the foreign policy department strongly condemns North Korea’s decision.
The Ukrainian government stresses that it regards this measure as an attempt by Pyongyang to undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, a serious violation of Ukraine’s Constitution, the UN Charter and fundamental norms and principles of international law.
“The North Korean regime’s recognition of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions is void, will have no legal consequences and will not change Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders,” the note concludes.