A Decree by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin on simplified citizenship procedures for residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics does not affect the Minsk agreements, the DPR Ombudsman Daria Morozova told journalists.
On April 24, 2019, Putin signed a Decree on the simplified procedure for obtaining Russian passports by residents of the LPR and the DPR. According to him, the issue has a purely humanitarian nature, Russia has no intention to cause problems for Kiev, but the situation of civil rights in Donbass is totally out of line. However, the Polish Foreign Ministry believes that the Decree is contrary to the spirit of the Minsk agreements. The Head of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building Mr. Andrey Klishas noted that this decision aim at the same objectives as the Minsk agreements.
“The conflict has lasted for about five years, and many have lost passports or their validity has expired… so people cannot move (with DPR passports further than Russia – ed.) … which leads to the human rights violation. It was an acute problem, and we were, indeed, very grateful (for the decision to issue passports of the Russian Federation – ed.). I don’t think that it (Putin’s Decree – ed.) will somehow influence the Minsk agreements. This is a humanitarian step aimed at preventing the human rights violation,” said Morozova.
The Ombudsman stressed that this issue should not be discussed at Minsk negotiations on peaceful settlement in Donbass.
“The Decree on passports was signed when we were already in Minsk, and in no way should it concern the Minsk agreements, we should not discuss it there. We have a Package of Measures that deals with the situation in Donbas,” she said.
In April 2014, the Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against the LPR and the DPR, which declared independence after the coup d’état in Ukraine in February 2014. According to the latest UN data, about 13 thousand people became victims of the conflict.
The issue of resolving the situation in Donbass is being discussed, including through the meetings of the Contact Group in Minsk, which, since September 2014, has already adopted three documents providing for steps to de-escalate the conflict. However, after the armistice agreements, the shooting between the parties continues.