The opening of a Russian party representative office in the occupied areas of Donbas is more proof of the escalation on the part of the Russian Federation.

“The Russian authorities continue to openly disregard the Minsk Agreements and take steps to drag the currently uncontrolled areas of Donbas into their political, economic and electoral field,” Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Oleg Nikolenko said, commenting on intention of the Russian political party “A Just Russia – For Truth” to open its representative office in Donetsk.

He also noted that after Russian passports had been illegally given out to the residents of the occupied territories, Russian parties saw a possibility of receiving political profits there. However, such actions grossly violate “the legislation and sovereignty of Ukraine and establish room for electoral fraud in Russia.”

“Ukraine has already stated that it will not recognise the legitimacy of such voting. Russia must finally begin to fulfill its commitments to achieve a political and diplomatic settlement of the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict on the basis of full respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty, compliance with Ukrainian legislation, and international law,” Nikolenko said.

The day before, the political party “A Just Russia – For Truth,” which is presented in the State Duma, reported that its chairman Sergey Mironov appointed his aide Alexey Zhigulin as the authorised representative in the territories of so-called Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics. Zhigulin was instructed to open a representative office of the party in Donetsk and to organise a consultation reception of citizens. The political force plans to “represent and protect the electoral rights of Russian citizens” living in the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia reported that the state granted its citizenship to 409,550 Ukrainians in 2020.

Bohdan Marusyak

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