The European Union calls on the Russian Federation to revoke the decree, which equates goods from the occupied territories of Donbas with Russian ones.

“The decree aims to further separate the temporarily non-government controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk from Ukraine, in contradiction with the objectives of the Minsk Agreements,” stated Peter Stano, EU’s Lead Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

As noted, such actions of the Russian Federation have the potential to increase the tensions and prolong the status quo, while impeding the future reintegration process.

“We call on Russia to revoke this decision and to stop taking unilateral measures that only provoke further aggravation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The European Union will continue to enforce its non-recognition policy in this regard,” the document reads.

As a reminder, on 15 November, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on “simplified trade measures” with the temporarily occupied areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, equating goods produced in these territories with those produced in Russia. At the same time, Putin instructed the Russian government to ensure the entry of such goods to the Russian market within a month, including access to public procurement.

Immediately after Putin signed the document, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine sent a note of protest to Russia. Kyiv regarded the relevant decree of the President of the Russian Federation as gross interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine, violation of its legislation and norms of international law.

Ukraine emphasized that Russia’s recognition of “certificates,” unilateral designation of checkpoints to move goods across the temporarily uncontrolled section of the state border of Ukraine and other measures provided for by Putin’s decree clearly demonstrate Russia’s purposeful policy to draw the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine to its economic, political, electoral, and information space.

Bohdan Marusyak

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