Washington, – The government today called “provocative action that intensifies the assault on the sovereignty of Ukraine and its territorial integrity” the express issuance of Russian passports to residents in the self-proclaimed and separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, in the Ukrainian region of the Donbás.
State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement her country’s condemnation of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to “provide accelerated Russian citizenship to Ukrainians living in eastern Ukraine controlled by Russia.” .
He affirmed that this measure “creates a serious obstacle to the implementation of the Minsk agreements and the reintegration of the Donbas region” and recalled that in these pacts, signed by Moscow, “the full restoration of the control of the Ukrainian Government is the east of Ukraine. “
In this way, Washington reacted to the decree signed by Putin, which states that permanent residents of Donetsk and Lugansk have the right to obtain Russian citizenship “within a period not exceeding three months” from the day of delivery of the petition.
The Russian leader said today during a meeting with legislators that this provision does not intend to “create any problem for the new Ukrainian authorities,” referring to Vladimir Zelenski, who just three days ago won the presidential election.
The State Department spokeswoman recalled in her note also the little time that has passed since the victory of Zelenski in the elections in Ukraine.
“President-elect Zelenski has repeatedly expressed his willingness to get seriously involved with Russia to implement the Minsk agreements, and put an end to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which has claimed about 13,000 lives,” Ortagus said.
“It is now up to Russia to decide whether it wants to continue escalation of tensions or fulfill its commitments with Minsk,” the spokeswoman said.
The Minsk agreements were signed in 2015 to end hostilities in eastern Ukraine, but they never came to fruition, despite the fact that they helped the armed clashes to diminish in intensity and stabilize the front line.
According to Kiev, the separatists of the self-proclaimed popular republics of Donetsk and Lugansk have on-site support from regular units of the Russian Army.
But Putin insists that there are no Russian soldiers in the Ukrainian east and that it is an “exclusively internal conflict” provoked by Kiev for not respecting the aspirations of the Russian-speaking population. (EFEUSA)