Russia's Lavrov says Britons and Moroccan sentenced to death committed crimes in Donetsk

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FILE PHOTO: Russia's Foreign Minister Lavrov meets his Armenian counterpart Mirzoyan in Yerevan

(Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that the two Britons and one Moroccan sentenced to death on Thursday in the Donetsk People's Republic had committed crimes on the territory of the self-proclaimed state trying to break away from Ukraine.

Lavrov said: "At the moment, the trials you mentioned are being held on the basis of the legislation of the Donetsk People's Republic, because the crimes in question were committed on the DPR's territory."

The DPR, where separatist forces began a military campaign to break away from Ukraine with Moscow's support in 2014, is internationally recognised as part of Ukraine.

Among United Nations member states, only Russia recognises the entire Ukrainian province of Donetsk, much of which remains under Ukrainian control, as the independent DPR.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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