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EU not to sanction Russia for passport issuance in Donbas

Ministers of the EU member states believe that sanctions would harm Ukraine
14:10, 13 May 2019

Members of the Eastern Partnership Summit
European Council

The EU does not intend to impose new sanctions against Russia for its decision to issue Russian passports to Donbas residents, as Foreign Ministers of EU member states who gathered in Brussels for the celebration of the 10th anniversary of Eastern Partnership, told the journalists, Eurointegration reported.

In particular, Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček stated that. According to his, the EU is aware of Russia’s decision, but it does not want to pressure Moscow for it.

“Now we are more prone to seeking dialogue, but not pressure, as Russia does,” he said.

Romanian Minister Teodor Meleșcanu confirmed the position of the Europeans. He assured the journalists that Ukrainians do not need the new anti-Russian sanctions.

Related: Passports, residence permit, common citizenship: What Russia offers Ukrainians

“It will create problems for Ukraine,” he said. Yet, the diplomat did not specify what problems exactly.

It should be stated that Ukraine’s positions is quite different: Kyiv called the EU for enhancing pressure on Russia. A part of EU member states which usually are Ukraine’s friends, support enhancement of anti-Russian sanctions. In particular, Linas Linkevičius, Lithuanian Minister, stated about is.

“This (issuance of Russian passports, - ed.) is a gross violation of the international law. We f agreed that violation of the international law should lead to enhancement of pressure, so I believe there should be new sanctions,” he said.

“We have to impose personal sanctions against Russians involved in this decision and we also have to make a decision that the EU does not recognize these passports,” Urmas Reinsalu, Estonian Minister, said.

Related: DNR starts receiving application for illegal issuance of Russian passports

At the same time, it is known that the EU needs consensus to impose sanctions.

On May 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree granting the right to a simplified procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship to certain categories of citizens of Ukraine.

On April 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree according to which the procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship for residents of Donetsk and Luhansk regions is simplified. Applications for entry into citizenship of the Russian Federation, which are received from residents of ORDLO, should be considered no more than three months from the date of submission.

President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky stated that Ukraine will grant citizenship to representatives of all peoples suffering from authoritarian and corrupt regimes, and first of all to Russians. 

Related: U.S. can impose sanctions on Russian due to issuance of passports to Donbas citizens, - Volker

Besides, he said that Russia should not spend their time in vain with their attempts to lure the citizens of Ukraine into getting Russian passports

Current President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko stated that the order on the issuance of the Russian passports to the Ukrainian citizens on the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk is the attempt to justify and legitimize the military presence of Russia in Donbas.

Ukraine appealed to the UN Security Council after this decision and Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN Volodymyr Yelchenko called it to be the daring step, which contradicts the Minsk Agreements.

Related: Ukraine's govt wants to sanction Russians for illegal issuance of Russian passports

Ukraine’s Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs reported that people who get Russian passports will lose their Ukrainian citizenship.

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