Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia may start granting Russian citizenship, under a simplified procedure, to all Ukrainians, not only to those living in Russia-occupied Donbas, eastern Ukraine.
"We even think about granting our citizenship to [all] Ukrainian citizens under a simplified procedure," he said at a press conference on April 27 following his Beijing trip, according to an UNIAN correspondent in Russia.
Putin says all social obligations to Russian citizens will be fulfilled, despite the decision to provide Ukrainians living in Russia-controlled Donbas, with Russian citizenship, using the expedited procedures.
"Regarding the fulfillment or non-fulfillment of our social obligations to Russian citizens: No doubts – all social obligations, absolutely all social payments, pensions, and their increase – will be fulfilled. There's no doubt about it," he said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on April 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the simplified procedure for issuing Russian passports to residents of the temporarily occupied Donbas.
The Kremlin explained that Putin made such a decision "to protect human and civil rights and freedoms," on the basis of "generally accepted principles and norms of international law."
In this regard, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has called on the European Union to step up sanctions against Russia during the next review of the existing regime scheduled for June.