17:48 19.07.2019

Russia's fast-tracking of citizenship for Donbas Ukrainians signal to discuss federalization

2 min read
Russia's fast-tracking of citizenship for Donbas Ukrainians signal to discuss federalization

Moscow's initiative to extend its fast-track citizenship procedure to Ukrainians from any part of Donetsk or Luhansk region signals a desire to federalize Ukraine, the country's Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said.

"This is a message from [Russian President Vladimir] Putin not just to us but primarily to the West. Right in advance of our elections. And the message is very simple: let's discuss Ukraine's federalization, this must be done on our terms," Klimkin wrote on Facebook on Friday.

The West might well agree to the implementation of a Russian scenario in Ukraine, he said.

The only way for Ukraine to counter this is through strategic and trust-based cooperation with friends and partners, he said.

"And it is we who must present a vision of a strategy. Before Russia starts imposing its scenario," Klimkin said.

It was reported earlier that on July 17 Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree allowing all previous and current residents of Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions, not just their temporarily occupied areas, to apply for Russian citizenship.

In particular, the new decree removes "the separate areas" from the clause on granting fast-track citizenship to Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian residents of the temporarily occupied parts of the regions, who have legal grounds to remain in Russia.

To confirm their eligibility, applicants from such groups must submit a document confirming their permanent residence in either Donetsk or Luhansk region as of April 7 or April 27, 2014, respectively.

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