Kyiv: Donbas residents do not show interest in obtaining Russian passports

Ukrainian Deputy Minister for Temporary Occupied Territories Georgiy Tuka, in an interview on Pryarmiy TV channel, said that most of the residents of the territories of the Donbas which are not under Ukraine’s control show no interest in obtaining Russian passports using the simplified procedure .

“According to the information we receive from the Ukrainian special services, there was no desired response to the simplified procedure for issuing Russian passports. The Russians are frankly confused about this. The leader of the pro-Russian Luhansk militants Leonid Pasechnik even held a meeting among so-called “national militia,” gave them a scolding and set up the plan for issuing passports, which is neglected even by members of illegal armed groups,” said Tuka.

On April 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree which allows residents of the territories of eastern Ukraine which are not under Kyiv’s control, as well as residents of the annexed Crimea, to obtain Russian passport using a simplified procedure. Ukraine and its Western allies sharply criticized the decree.

On April 27 in Beijing, Putin declared that the Kremlin was considering whether or not to simplify the procedure for all Ukrainians to apply for Russian passports. On May 1, he signed a decree simplifying the procedure for Ukrainians born and living in Crimea so that they could receive passports in the next three months.

The Verkhovna Rada appealed to a number of international organizations, as well as to the countries in the European Union, the USA, and the diplomatic missions of foreign states in Ukraine to strengthen sanctions against Russia in response to Moscow’s decision.

The administration of Ukrainian President-elect Vladimir Zelensky stated on Facebook that the decree on the issue of Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens is “Russia’s admission that it is an occupying power [in the Donbas and Ukraine]”.

(c) UAWIRE 2019

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