Moscow’s plan to make it easier for Ukrainians living in Russian-controlled regions of Ukraine to receive Russian citizenship violates international law, Kyiv said Wednesday, accusing the Kremlin of “criminal” behavior.
“The illegal issuing of passports... is a flagrant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as norms and principles of international humanitarian law,” the Ukrainian foreign ministry said in a statement.
President Vladimir Putin earlier Wednesday signed a decree simplifying the procedure to get a Russian passport for residents of the southern Ukrainian regions of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.
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Ukraine’s foreign ministry said the initiative was further evidence of Moscow’s “criminal” war goals, namely the integration of regions held by Moscow’s army “into Russia's legal, political and economic field.”
The official order published Wednesday came on the heels of a 2019 decree that allowed the same fast-track procedure for residents of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, eastern Ukraine’s breakaway regions.
Russia passport plan ‘flagrant violation’ of Ukraine sovereignty: Kyiv