The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine strongly condemned and sent a corresponding note to Russia due to the changes introduced in the decree of Russian President Vladimir Putin, which now allows recognition of “documents” issued by the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republic.”

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine considers these steps by the Russian side another element of aggression against Ukraine. These steps are directed against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state, are a clear indication of the Kremlin’s intention to continue the war against Ukraine not only by military but also by legal means,” the statement reads.

The Ministry appealed to the partner countries with a request to condemn Russia‘s actions and exert the necessary means of pressure, including sanctions. Ukraine will raise this issue as soon as possible on the international platforms, in particular within the UN, OSCE, and Council of Europe.

The Foreign Ministry added that Ukraine would not recognise documents, registration plates and the issuance of Russian passports to residents of the occupied Donbas. In addition, the Kremlin’s illegal decision openly contradicts Russia’s commitments under the Minsk agreements, ignoring the efforts of the Normandy format and the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas war settlement.

The Ministry demands that the Russian side must immediately revoke “all aggressive decisions made with regard to Ukraine and eliminate their negative consequences.”

To recap, on 5 November, President of Russia Vladimir Putin amended the decrees of 18 February 2017 and 24 April 2019 on the recognition of “documents” issued by the so-called “LPR” and “DPR”.

The wording “to citizens of Ukraine and permanent residents” was removed from the decrees. Accordingly, Russia will now recognise “documents” from the occupied territories of Donbas without a Ukrainian passport.

As Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, Russia issues its passports to the residents of the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions because “ethnic Russians” allegedly live there. He added that “Russia has always defended and will defend the interests of Russians, wherever they live.”

In addition, Peskov noted that the Minsk agreements did not specify that the Russian Federation should stop issuing its passports to the residents of the occupied territories of Donbas.

Bohdan Marusyak

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