The European Union External Service in a statement has commented on steps Russia has taken "to further undermine the territorial integrity of Ukraine."
On November 4, 2020, Russian President Putin signed a decree that facilitates the recognition by the Russian Federation of documents and vehicle registrations issued to citizens and permanent residents of Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the EU spokesperson recalls.
"This constitutes yet another attempt by Russia to undermine Ukraine's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity," the statement reads.
The European Union expects "Russia to refrain from actions that run counter to the Minsk agreements and impede the full reintegration of the non-Government controlled areas into Ukraine, and instead to fully implement its commitments under the Minsk agreements."
Read alsoDonbas invaders mulling "foreign citizen" status for Ukrainian nationals – intelIn 2019, the European Commission and the European External Action Service issued guidance on the handling of visa applications from residents of non-Government controlled areas of Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions to ensure respect for Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and that the EU rules on Schengen visas are correctly and consistently applied in Russia and Ukraine.
"The European Union remains steadfast in its support to Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity," the statement concludes.
The so-called "DPR" and "LPR" are the two self-styled entities in eastern Ukraine that have not been internationally recognized.
The areas have been seized by Russian-controlled forces in 2014.
Ukraine has repeatedly stated that the occupation forces have been since receiving funding, weapons, and ammunition from Russia and have been generally governed from Moscow – something Russia vehemently denies despite massive evidence accumulated.
In April 2019, Putin signed a decree on the simplified procedure for granting Russian citizenship to residents of "certain districts" in Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
In July 2019, Putin extended his decree to all residents from Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions, also known as Donbas.