Russia’s illegal issuance of passports in the uncontrolled territories of Donbas is an attempt to legitimize the so-called “DPR” and “LPR”, and this policy hinders a peaceful settlement and blocks the implementation of the Minsk agreements, Ukrinform reports.
“As we noted last week, Russia has embarked on a multi-year program of ‘passportization’ in eastern Ukraine, issuing more than 187,000 passports to Ukrainian citizens residing in Russia-controlled territory — the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk “People’s Republics.” Why do you have to do that? Except for the fact that those republics need some attempt by you to make them legitimate when they are not legitimate. Such policies erode the prospect of a peaceful resolution and block the implementation of the Minsk agreements,” U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) James S. Gilmore said at the OSCE Permanent Council online meeting, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
In this regard, the American diplomat asked: “We all here still believe in the Minsk agreements, don’t we?”
It is known that Russia is actively issuing passports to residents of the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas. So far, almost 200,000 passports have been issued, and Russia plans to issue 600,000-800,000 such passports to Ukrainians in Donbas by the end of the year.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine states that the decision on massive issuance of Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens in the occupied territories of Donbas constitutes a gross interference in internal affairs and is a continuation of Russia’s attempts of creeping annexation of the Ukrainian Donbas.