President Vladimir Putin of Russia has signed an agreement that allows Ukraine Citizens to apply for a Russian Passport in a simplified fast track procedure.
The document is said to state that those who have Ukrainian citizenship can apply. Also, those in neighboring government-controlled areas of east-Ukrainian Donetsk and Luhansk can use this procedure if registered as permanently livening there since 2014.
How has Ukraine Responded?
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukraine’s President, has since announced an overhaul of the procedure to gain Ukrainian citizenship in response to the Russian decree. Shortly after the Kremlin published President Vladimir Putin’s announcement, President Zalinski’s office stated that the foreign ministry would simplify the process for certain groups of people to obtain citizenship.
The statement included that those who have constraints of freedom, human rights violated and ethnic Ukrainians who live in “friendly powers” territory would be able to apply for a fast track passport in view of helping Ukrainian development. Further information about who Ukraine considers as “friendly powers” has not been supplied.
It has been noted that Ukraine’s announcement may have been influenced by Putin’s offer of passports to Ukrainian citizens who live in government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions as of 2014 – The date of when a military conflict with Russian backed separatists started.
“Such a step by the Russian Federation creates additional obstacles on a path to de-escalation of the conflict, and the reintegration of the Donbass region,” noted the statement.
The conflict between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed forces has continued for 5 years killing 13,000 people despite a ceasefire agreement in 2015. Zelenskiy commented, he will do everything in his power to end the conflict.