Russian President Vladimir Putin asked the country’s parliament on Tuesday for permission to use military force outside the country.
Putin’s letter to the upper house of parliament would formalize a Russian military deployment to rebel regions in eastern Ukraine, a day after the Russian leader recognized their independence.
It may also herald Putin’s intention to launch a broader attack on Ukraine. Western leaders earlier said Russian troops had moved into the country’s east — and the U.S. called it an invasion.
Lawmakers are expected to quickly rubber-stamp Putin’s request during a session Tuesday.
Putin signed friendship treaties earlier in the day with the two rebel regions that envisage the deployment of the Russian military there.
The White House on Tuesday began referring to Russian troop deployments in eastern Ukraine as an “invasion” after initially hesitating to use the term — a red line that President Joe Biden has said would result in the U.S. levying severe sanctions against Moscow.
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