Ukraine is outraged by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decree to simplify the procedure for residents of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics to obtain Russian passports. Kyiv has already appealed to the UN Security Council in this regard, noted Volodymyr Yelchenko, Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the organization.
“This audacious step goes against the Minsk agreements ratified by the Security Council,” he wrote on Twitter.
Putin recently signed a decree making it easier and faster for residents of south-eastern Ukraine to obtain Russian citizenship. The Kremlin claimed that this decision was made because Moscow “has no desire to create problems for the new Ukrainian government”.
“But to tolerate a situation in which the people who reside in these Donetsk and Luhansk republics are deprived of any kind of civil rights is already crossing the line with respect to human rights,” Putin remarked during a session of the Council of Legislators in St. Petersburg.
The Russian president’s decree has caused a wave of outrage among Ukrainian politicians. Incumbent President Petro Poroshenko called it an attempt to legitimize Russia’s military presence in the separatist-controlled regions of the Donbas.
“The illegal issuance of Russian passports in accordance with the so-called South Ossetia and Transnistria scenario is an attempt to justify and legitimize Russia’s military presence in the occupied Donbas,” Poroshenko stated.
The team of Volodymyr Zelensky, who won Ukraine’s recent presidential elections, observed that through this decree, Russia has admitted its responsibility as the occupier-state.
“These actions are yet another clear confirmation for the world community of the truth of Russia’s role as an aggressor-state that is waging war against Ukraine. Unfortunately, this decree does not bring us closer to the main goal – a ceasefire,” Zelensky’s Team said in a statement.