Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said the Russian Federation will continue to issue passports in occupied territory of Donbas despite Ukraine's reaction.
"How would the Kremlin respond? The Kremlin will continue issuing passports to citizens who wish, who are eligible under the presidential decree," Peskov told journalists, commenting on media reports that the Ukrainian government was going to outlaw all Russian passports issued to Ukrainian citizens in Ukraine, an UNIAN correspondent in Russia said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 24 signed a decree on the expedited procedure for the issue of Russian passports to residents of temporarily occupied Donbas. On April 27, Putin said Russia could simplify the procedure for granting Russian citizenship to all Ukrainians – not only to those who reside in Russia-occupied districts in the east of Ukraine.
On April 29, a center opened in the town of Novoshakhtinsk in Rostov oblast offering services for issuing Russian passports to residents of Russia-occupied districts in Ukraine's Luhansk region. On April 30, a similar center opened in Rostov oblast's village of Pokrovskoye to service residents of the occupied Donetsk region.
On May 1, Putin signed a decree under which more categories of Ukrainian citizens will be able to obtain Russian citizenship with the use of the simplified procedure, in particular, these are citizens of Ukraine who do not have citizenship of another state, as well as stateless persons who were born and permanently resided in Crimea and left the peninsula before March 18, 2014, as well as their children, husbands (wives) and parents.
Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs resolutely demands that the Russian side immediately repeal all unlawful decisions regarding the issue of Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens and eliminate their negative consequences.
On May 8, Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said Ukraine would not recognize fake Russian passports issued to residents of the occupied Ukrainian territories, namely Luhansk and Donetsk regions, and called on the international community not to recognize such documents as well.