Ukrinform: Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree that could allow millions of Ukrainians living in breakaway regions of south-east Ukraine to receive Russian passports
The offer of Russian passports will be seen in Kyiv as an attempt to continue the integration of the territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions into Russia, as well as to pressure the new president to come to the negotiating table.
President Petro Poroshenko said that, with this decree, “Russia is torpedoing the peace process in the Donbas.”
The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv posted on Twitter that the decree was “absurd and destabilizing” and reaffirmed “our strong support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Ukraine’s mission to the United Nations posted on Facebook that Kyiv had “asked that the UN Security Council call a session to discuss Russia’s brazen decision to issue Russian passports in the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territory.”
Shortly after the decree was published, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin tweeted that “Russia’s decision to issue passports in the occupied Ukrainian territories is the continuation of aggression and interference in our internal affairs,” adding: “This is a new ‘passport’ stage of the occupation of the Donbas.”
Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe, Dmytro Kuleba wrote in his Twitter that he has already informed COE that the Russian Federation has launched the Abkhaz scenario in the east of Ukraine.