Ukraine to seek new sanctions for 'Russia’s passport aggression'

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin’s latest decree which broadens the categories of Ukrainian citizens who can obtain Russian passports through a simplified procedure.

“This is another example of the Russian Federation’s gross violation of the norms of international law and the state sovereignty of Ukraine. The decree published today, as well as all previous and possible future superficially legal acts of Russia designed to grant Ukrainian citizens Russian citizenship in an unlawful way, were, are and will be legally null and void, they will have no legal effects and will not by recognized by Ukraine,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The Ukrainian diplomats considered it particularly brazen of Putin to claim that the decree’s goal is “to protect human and civil rights and freedoms”.

“The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry categorically demands that Russia immediately revoke all the unlawful decisions regarding granting passports to citizens of Ukraine and eliminate all of the negative consequences thereof. Ukraine reserves the right to take effective measures to protect its national security and the legal rights and interests of Ukrainian citizens in accordance with international law and Ukrainian legislation,” the statement reads.

The Foreign Ministry hopes that Ukraine’s international partners will intensify their sanctions on Russia in light of this ruling.

“Ukraine will continue to work actively with its international partners to intensify the consolidated sanction pressure on the Kremlin regime. Ukraine’s diplomatic institutions abroad have been instructed to immediately inform the foreign capitals about the Russian Federation’s passport aggression,” the ministry said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry will be sent a memorandum of objection.

On 24 April, Putin signed a decree which granted residents of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk provinces the right to obtain Russian citizenship through a simplified procedure.

On 1 May, he issued a new decree granting the same rights to Ukrainians who resided in Crimea or the Donbas before the spring of 2014.

  Ukraine, Russia, Putin, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry