The Russian embassy in Tallinn has commented on a decision by the Estonian Foreign Ministry not to recognize Russian passports issued to inhabitants of the Ukrainian Donbas.
“It is regrettable that Estonia continues to persistently fight to lead the race among EU countries on the anti-Russian track. We are convinced that the Estonian authorities’ effective participation in the humanitarian blockade of the Donbas, which for more than five years has been deprived of government and banking services, social support, healthcare, education and communication, does not help the situation in eastern Ukraine to improve,” the Russian embassy said in a statement.
“If Tallinn really wanted to help resolve the internal Ukrainian crisis, it would use its influence over Kyiv to convince it to restore normal life support in the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces, as envisaged by the Minsk agreements,” the embassy remarked.
On April 24, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree to make it easier for Ukrainian citizens residing in the separate Donetsk and Luhansk regions to obtain Russian citizenship.
On May 1, Putin signed a decree giving this right to different categories of Ukrainian citizens. The first group of Donbas residents acquired Russian passports in mid June. Canada, the US, Estonia and various other EU countries have said that they will not recognize any passports issued in this manner.
Previously Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu also suggested that additional sanctions be imposed on Russia in connection with its illegal issuance of passports to Ukrainians in the occupied territories.