(Dan Tri) – The British Ministry of Defense believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin will make a speech to both houses of parliament to officially announce the annexation of territories in Ukraine this week.

People in Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine voted in a referendum to merge with Russia (Photo: Reuters).

`It is likely that President Putin will use his speech to officially announce the annexation of territories in Ukraine into the Russian Federation. Referendums are being conducted in these territories

According to the British Ministry of Defense, President Putin is expected to give a speech to the Russian senate and lower house of parliament on September 30 and may use this speech to officially announce the merger.

`Russian leaders almost certainly hope that any annexation announcement will be seen as an explanation for the ‘special military operation’ and will increase support for the conflict.`

On September 23, referendums to annex Russia began in Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions in Ukraine.

Donetsk and Lugansk are two pro-Russian separatist regions in Donbass, Eastern Ukraine.

After the referendum, Russian-backed leaders in all four regions in Ukraine can demand to be annexed by Russia.

News agency Tass (Russia) quoted a source at the State Duma (Russia’s House of Representatives) as saying that Russian parliamentarians may hold a plenary session to pass a bill on the annexation of territories in Ukraine.

`After the votes will be counted in the referendums, the bill can be submitted on September 28 so that the State Duma has enough time to pass it on September 29,` the source said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow supports and will recognize the results of the referendums in four regions of Ukraine.

Russia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) said that more than 100 international observers from 40 countries, not including observers from Russia, participated in monitoring the referendum process in regions in

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly warned that `fake referendums` on annexing Russia would end any chance of negotiations between Kiev and Moscow.

Russia may announce the annexation of four Ukrainian provinces this week