The German Foreign Ministry has ordered all German consulates not to recognize Russian passports issued to Ukrainian citizens in the temporarily occupied Donbas territories, Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk wrote in a tweet.
“Treason has been canceled. The leadership of the German Foreign Ministry told me personally about an instruction to all German consulates not to recognize Russian passports issued to Ukrainians in the occupied Donbas,” Melnyk wrote.
On April 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to simplify the procedure for giving Russian citizenship to residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR). Issuance of Russian passports began in mid June. By mid August, more than 25,000 residents of the occupied regions had received Russian passports.
EU member states, Canada and the US have warned that they will not recognize Russian passports issued to Donbas residents.
On October 3, the European Commission and the European External Action Service advised EU member states and members of the Shengen zone that are not part of the EU to develop visas to be issued to DPR and LPR residents.
On April 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree which allows residents of the territories of eastern Ukraine which are not under Kyiv’s control, as well as residents of the annexed Crimea, to obtain Russian passport using a simplified procedure. Ukraine and its Western allies sharply criticized the decree.
On April 27 in Beijing, Putin declared that the Kremlin was considering whether or not to simplify the procedure for all Ukrainians to apply for Russian passports. On May 1, he signed a decree simplifying the procedure for Ukrainians born and living in Crimea so that they could receive passports in the next three months.
The Verkhovna Rada appealed to a number of international organizations, as well as to the countries in the European Union, the USA, and the diplomatic missions of foreign states in Ukraine to strengthen sanctions against Russia in response to Moscow’s decision.
The administration of Ukrainian President-elect Vladimir Zelensky stated on Facebook that the decree on the issue of Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens is “Russia’s admission that it is an occupying power [in the Donbas and Ukraine]”.