Ukraine argues that LPR and DPR representatives at Donbas talks have Russian passports
On Thursday, May 21, during a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, the Ukrainian delegation showed copies of the Russian passports of the head of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, and representatives of the Donbas uncontrolled territories which were invited by Russia to participate in the Trilateral Contact Group on the resolution of conflict in the Donbas, stated the Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the international organizations in Vienna, Yevhen Tsymbalyuk.
"We drew the attention of the foreign delegations to Russia's attempts not only to absolve itself of responsibility as a participant in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, but also to impose participation in the Trilateral Contac Group meetings of those people who do not represent the population of the temporarily occupied territories of the Donbas and are citizens of the Russian Federation," he said, as quoted by Ukrinform.
Tsymbalyuk demonstrated the Russian passports of Vladislav Deinego and Natalia Nikanorova who call themselves "foreign ministers" of LPR and DPR. Accordingly, the diplomat says, their participation in the talks in Minsk is lobbied by Russia. The same country granted citizenship to the head of DPR, Denis Pushilin.
Tsymbalyuk said that these people cannot represent Donbas residents, as they are not elected in the legitimate elections of the local government.
"Russia invited people with Russian passports to the talks in Minsk. They were brought to power not by democratic and fair elections, but by Russian weapons and mercenaries," he added.
Earlier, the Minister for The Reintegration of the Occupied Territories of Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov said that Russia "invited" to the meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group representatives of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, who had Russian citizenship.
On May 14, another meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group on the settlement of the situation in the Donbass took place, where Ukraine was represented by the delegation updated by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.