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More than half a million people in Donbas have obtained a Russian passport

More than half a million people in Donbas have obtained a Russian passport

Approximately 527 thousand residents of the occupied territories of eastern Ukraine obtained a Russian passport in the past two years. The Russian and Ukrainian media reported, referring to the statement of the Russian Interior Ministry, on Sunday. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on a simplified procedure for issuing passports to the Donbas people in April 2019. A similar move by Moscow at the time sparked criticism from Western politicians, under which Russia continues to destabilize the situation in Donbas. Where, according to the Ukrainian authorities 2014, 14,000 people already live.

“There is pressure on citizens living in the occupied territories to apply for Russian passports, thus turning away from Ukraine. The Ukrainian language is completely banned in ORDLO (designation for occupied territories in eastern Ukraine), and there are no sources of information in the Ukrainian language … () Here one cannot get a Ukrainian pension, so they say: You can get a pension from us, but you must have a Russian passport. This contributes to their further separation from Ukraine … () “, Ukrainian media quoted an ombudsman Human rights of Lyudmila Denisova.

Lithuania process of issuing passports to residents of occupied territories marked By the term “cause of war”, which means that he sees this as a pretext for further Russian aggression against Ukraine. The countries of the European Union previously stressed that the so-called passports of the Donbas and Luhansk regions violate the sovereignty of Ukraine, and it is part of the mixed war waged by Moscow and conflicts with the Minsk agreements.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also recently spoke about the Minsk agreements. A week ago, he said that there is a need to expand the so-called Norman formula with the participation of leaders from Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine, and to renew the Minsk agreements. He reacted to the escalating tensions in the east of the country, violating the ceasefire and Russia’s refusal to negotiate the current situation.

“It could be an extension of the ‘Normand’ shape or create a similar coordination with other countries, with very serious and strong players. Not only because they are strong, but also because they want to help Ukraine end the war. I think it’s the right decision.” He said The Ukrainian president at a press briefing on April 27th.

The day before, in an interview with the Financial Times, Zelensky called for a review of the 2015 agreement and the inclusion of Great Britain, Canada and the United States in Operation Norman. The Ukrainian president also called on the West to support any changes to the Minsk agreements. As part of a possible reform of the Minsk Agreements, Zelensky also stressed that the existing Normandy Four could be more flexible. “Nobody is saying that the agreements should be canceled. However, I think some points should be updated.” pointed out President.

Moscow immediately responded to Kiev’s calls. Statement from the President of Ukraine to me Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zakarov suggests Kiev’s refusal to abide by the Minsk Agreement. According to her, there is no alternative to the Norman formula.

Meanwhile, in response to the tense situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border, Volodymyr Zelensky is seeking a personal meeting with the Kremlin’s head. But Putin rejects the offer of his Ukrainian counterpart, and the leaders of the two countries cannot even agree on a meeting place. While Zelensky insisted that a meeting be held anywhere in the Donbas, Putin said he was ready at any time to welcome the Ukrainian president to Moscow.

And the sharpening of relations between Kiev and Moscow, which happened at the end of March, was monitored and condemned by a number of member states of the European Union and NATO. But Russia insisted that this was not an escalation of the conflict, but a planned training by the Russian military. After several weeks of tension, the head of the Russian Defense Ministry, Sergei Shoigu, announced that Russian forces had begun to withdraw from the Crimea and the Ukrainian border. According to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitra Kuliba, the exit of troops from the western borders of Russia will help partially alleviate the tension, but it will not solve the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Two large warships of the Russian Northern Fleet remain in the Black Sea off the Crimea.