The EU notes that such steps by the Kremlin such as organizing illegitimate elections and issuing passports to locals are “aimed at de facto integration of Ukraine’s non-governmental-controlled areas into Russia.” According to the EU’s foreign-affairs arm, the EEAS, will prepare a report on the matter, according to the paper.
The EU document presents options that can be assumed to strengthen Ukraine’s resilience to Russian aggression, including:
- Enhancing support in fighting against “hybrid threats including countering cyber threats and disinformation”
- Helping Ukraine’s coronavirus-vaccination program, “especially of vulnerable groups in order to avoid further weakening of the country through a prolonged health and socio-economic crisis”
- Bolstering energy security to lower dependence on Russia
- Enhancing efforts to refuse recognition of Russian passports issued to residents of Crimea and parts of Donbas
- Considering allowing Ukraine to participate in some EU security projects
According to the document, the further EU sanctions against Russia will depend on “further grave deterioration of the situation with regard to Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity”.
As we reported, almost 530 thousand residents of the uncontrolled part of Donetsk and Luhansk regions received a passport in a simplified manner in two years.