Kyiv expects int'l community not to recognize Russian passports issued to Donbas residents
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has protested the fact that centers for issuing Russian passports to residents of districts of Donbas not controlled by Kyiv have started operations in Russian territory and called on the international community not to recognize such documents.
"Ukraine is urging its international partners not to recognize and not to accept documents issued by Russia in violation of the Ukrainian constitution and laws to citizens of Ukraine living in the territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine that are temporarily occupied by Russia, as well as any transactions carried out with such documents," the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
"In taking such steps, Russia is manifestly demonstrating its absolute disregard for the norms and principles of international law, and having deliberately chosen a course toward escalation, it is also fundamentally undermining the Minsk Agreements, a party to which it is," the statement said.
Russia's decision to issue its passports to Donbas residents is "legally null and void and will not be recognized by Ukraine," it said.
These decisions "can have no effect on the fact that the residents of the Donbas territories temporarily occupied by Russia are citizens of Ukraine, as is stipulated by the constitution and Ukrainian law," the statement said.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry once again strongly called for "stepping up consolidated political-diplomatic pressure on the Kremlin to compel it to honor the norms and principles of international law; for instance, by expanding personal and sectoral sanctions against the aggressor country."
On April 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an executive order facilitating the issuance of Russian passports to permanent residents of the self-proclaimed republics in Donbas. On April 29, the first office for issuing Russian passports accepted 80 applications from residents of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) in Novoshakhtinsk, Rostov region. On April 30, an office for issuing Russian passports to residents of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) was opened in the community of Pokrovskoye in Rostov region.