Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Minsk agreement for resolving the Ukraine crisis "no longer exists" after recognizing the independence of two Moscow-backed regions.
"Of course, the Minsk agreements no longer exist," Putin said. "What is there to implement if we have recognized these two entities?"
Putin was speaking to reporters after Russia's upper chamber of parliament gave consent to Putin to deploy Russian armed forces outside the country in connection with the situation in the Donbas.
Some background: The Minsk agreement, the second of its kind (and the one that matters), was hammered out in the Belarusian capital in a bid to end what was then a bloody 10-month conflict in eastern Ukraine. But it has never been fully implemented, with its key issues still unresolved. It was was signed by representatives of Russia, Ukraine, the separatist leaders and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). It was subsequently endorsed by a UN Security Council resolution. This put an end to the worst of the fighting at the time. But to this day, the OSCE patrols the frontlines and reports ceasefire violations along the border.
Read more about the Minsk agreement here.