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Syria cuts diplomatic relations with Ukraine

A view of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates building in Damascus, Syria

Syria has severed diplomatic ties with Ukraine in response to Kiev's cutting of ties with Damascus, after the latter established ties with two self-proclaimed republics in in eastern Ukraine.

"The Syrian Arab Republic has decided to break diplomatic relations with Ukraine in conformity with the principle of reciprocity and in response to the decision of the Ukrainian government," a Foreign Ministry official, who was not identified, told the state news agency SANA.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky cut ties with Syria last month after Damascus recognized the Donetsk and Luhansk republics in eastern Ukraine's Donbass.

Prior to launching a military campaign in Ukraine in February, Russian President Vladimir Putin had signed a decree recognizing Luhansk and Donetsk regions as independent republics.

Russia, Syria, and North Korea are three countries that have recognized the breakaway regions as independent territories.

Donetsk and Luhansk were turned into self-proclaimed republics by ethnic Russians in 2014. The declaration of independence of Donetsk and Luhansk, following a referendum in May, led to a bloody conflict between the troops of the Kiev regime and pro-Russia forces.

Earlier, Crimea had declared independence from Ukraine, voting in a referendum to fall under Russian sovereignty in March 2014.

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