Kremlin warns about 'radical change' after referendum in Donbas

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov expresses 'extreme concern' over accident at Nord Stream gas pipelines.

Kremlin warns about 'radical change' after referendum in Donbas

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday the situation in Donbas will radically change from the legal point of view, including in the security domain, after the referendum on joining Russia.

"The situation will change radically from a legal point of view, from the point of view of international law. With all the relevant consequences for the purposes of protection and security of these territories," he told reporters at a press briefing in Moscow.

Peskov confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin conveyed to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan Russia's readiness to sit at the negotiation table with Ukraine.

"Russia confirms its readiness to negotiate, but as the situation changes, the conditions also change," he said.

Asked how many people left Russia after Putin's announcement on partial mobilization, Peskov said he has no information.

About the leak at Nord Stream pipelines, Peskov did not exclude sabotage as the cause of accident.

"Obviously, there is some kind of destruction of the pipe, and what caused it, it is impossible to exclude any options before the results of the investigation appear," he said.

Peskov expressed "extreme concern over the situation" and urged the relevant authorities to find out the reasons as soon as possible.

"This is an issue that affects the energy security of an entire continent," he said.

Danish authorities reported a gas leak Monday from Nord Stream pipelines close to the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea.

The Danish Maritime Authority has banned all ships from moving within five nautical miles (9.25 kilometers) of the accident site, saying the incident is "dangerous for ship traffic."

German authorities confirmed in a statement that a leak could have caused a sudden drop in pressure overnight in the undersea pipeline but an investigation continues.

Hüseyin Demir

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