(QHA) -

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed a decree to recognize the validity of documents on military service in Ukraine for Russian nationals residing in Crimea and Sevastopol, Tass reports.

The decree signed Friday has been posted on the official website of legal information. It takes effect since signing.

Putin has also signed a law which allows foreign mercenaries to 'participate' in the Russian military, reports Ukrainian TSN news. 

The decree, signed into law this week, says that foreigners can 'participate in tasks under martial law as well as situations of armed conflict'.

Crimea seceded from Ukraine in March and was was annexed by Russia following a local referendum on region's status, which was declared illegitimate by Kyiv authorities, the US and EU.