Bashar al-Assad
Bashar al-AssadReuters/AJ/CLH

Syria became the first country to recognize the breakaway Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk on Thursday, continuing its support of Russia’s invasion.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called for formally recognizing the two Russian-backed eastern Ukrainian regions as “republics,” according to Fox News. The regions were recognized as independent by Russian President Vladimir Putin three days before he launched the invasion of Ukraine in February.

The Donetsk People Republic (DPR) Telegram channel posted that Assad held a meeting with the DPR Minister of Foreign Affairs Natalia Nikonorova during which he spoke in support of Russia’s battle against the United States and NATO.

"The President of the Syrian Arab Republic noted the readiness of the state to recognize the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics," the DPR’s ministry said in a statement.

The ministry also alleged that Assad had begun "the official start of the recognition procedure and noted that the [Syrian] Ministry of Foreign Affairs would immediately receive relevant instructions from him."

"Mr. Assad greeted delegates, noting the common path of the peoples of Donbas and Syria in a fight against [the] unfriendly United States and other Western countries," the DRP said.

They also claimed that Assad "expressed confidence in the speedy and successful completion of the operation to liberate territories of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics from the Kiyv regime."

Syria was one of four nations along with Russia that opposed a UN General Assembly resolution condemning the invasion of the country.