Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said the European Union should respect the results of the referendums in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine over the weekend.
Mr Lavrov's comments follow an apparently overwhelming victory for pro-Russian separatists, with rebel leaders claiming over 85% of voters in both regions voted in favour of independence from Ukraine.
The leader of the rebels in Donetsk has now reportedly asked for his region to be incorporated into the Russian Federation, though the Kremlin has yet to respond to the request.
European Union foreign ministers added 13 people to their visa ban and asset freeze list over Ukraine's crisis.
Well that’s the voting over, and no surprises so far. A ‘Yes’ vote claimed to be 89% in Donetsk, and suddenly Ukraine is no more.
Nearly 90 percent of voters in eastern Ukrainian region voted for self-rule, the head of the separatist election commission said.