The Russian parliament could consider the annexation of four occupied regions of Ukraine as early as next week, according to the speaker of the upper house.
The speaker says lawmakers could meet to consider the move on 4 October, if the results of so-called “referendums” are favourable.
Ukraine’s eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, and the southern regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, have been asked to vote on whether to join Russia – in polls denounced as a sham by the international community.
Meanwhile, the European Union’s border agency says 66,000 Russians have entered the EU over the past week – a 30% increase on the week before.
Frontex says most entered through Finnish and Estonian crossing points, with numbers “significantly” increasing in Finland following the Kremlin’s mobilization announcement last week.
“Over the last four days, 30,000 Russian citizens have arrived in Finland,” according to Frontex.