Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to introduce general citizenship for residents of Russia and Ukraine. He stated this, commenting on the words of Volodymyr Zelensky about the readiness to provide Ukrainian citizenship to Russians, reports Gazeta.ru.
“I have said many times that Ukrainians and Russians are fraternal peoples and even more. I generally think that they are one nation ... and if we have general citizenship, both Russians and Ukrainians will benefit from this,” he said.
“This suggests that we will agree, probably because we have a lot in common,” Putin stressed, assessing Zelensky’s statement. He also expressed confidence that common citizenship would make both countries "stronger and more successful."
On April 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree that simplifies the procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship for residents of the occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions. 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.
Later, Putin said that he was thinking of issuing passports of the Russian Federation under a simplified procedure to all residents of Ukraine.
Zelensky, in response, said that Ukraine would grant citizenship to representatives of all peoples suffering from authoritarian and corrupt regimes, and first of all to Russians.
Zelensky also said that Russia should not waste time trying to seduce Ukrainian citizens with Russian passports.
The current president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, said that the issuance of Russian passports in Donbas is an attempt to justify and legitimize Russia's military presence in the occupied part of Ukraine. Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said that Ukraine is preparing a new package of sanctions.
Ukraine appealed to the UN Security Council after Russia simplified the procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship. The representative of Ukraine at the UN called it a bold step, contrary to the Minsk agreements.
Putin’s decree was condemned by Poland, Canada, France and the United States.