The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses its decisive protest against the decree of Russia’s president giving the green light to illicit distribution of Russian passports in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions of Ukraine. We consider this document to be legally null and void, and such that does not affect the Ukrainian citizenship of the residents of Russia-occupied areas of Donbas.
By violating the state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine yet again, Russia has made one more deliberate step towards demolishing the Minsk Agreements, to which it is a party. Such actions represent a blatant interference into internal affairs of Ukraine and Russia’s ongoing attempts at creeping annexation of the Ukrainian Donbas. They are aimed at destabilizing the internal political situation in Ukraine in the post-election period, demonstrate Russia’s intentions to continue its aggression, and evidence the lack of its interest in any de-escalation.
Illicit distribution of passports to Ukrainian citizens represents Kremlin’s recognition of the fact of Russian occupation of areas in Donetsk and Luhansk Regions of Ukraine. It debunks once more Russian propaganda’s key message alleging an “internal Ukrainian conflict”.
We are especially concerned with the fact that the Kremlin has used the policy of illicit distribution of passports in Russia-occupied territories in other protracted conflicts as a legal and humanitarian pretext for further aggression.
In this regard we demand that Kremlin regime revoke this disgraceful decision. We call on the international community to react by stepping up its politico-diplomatic and sanctions pressure on the aggressor state.