President of Russia Vladimir Putin on Thursday signed decrees that pave the way for the official annexation of the occupied Ukrainian regions of Kherson region and Zaporozhye to Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin participates via video link in a conference of heads of security and intelligence agencies of the CIS member states in Moscow, Russia, September 29, 2022.

Russian President Vladimir Putin participates via video link in a conference of heads of security and intelligence agencies of the CIS member states in Moscow, Russia, September 29, 2022.
(Sputnik/Gavriil Grigorov/Kremlin via REUTERS)

BLUMENTHAL AND GRAHAM CALL FOR ECONOMIC AND MILITARY CUTS FOR NATIONS THAT RECOGNIZE RUSSIA’S ANNEXATION OF UKRAINE

This is stated in the decrees published by the Kremlin Putin recognized two regions as independent territories. It’s an intermediate step needed before Putin can begin plans to declare the regions part of Russia on Friday.

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