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MEPs joint statement condemning Russian decree on simplified procedure to obtain Russian citizenship in certain areas of Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk

JOINT STATEMENT

by Mr Michael GAHLER, Foreign Affairs Committee standing rapporteur on Ukraine,

by Ms Rebecca HARMS, Chair of the EP Delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly,

by Mr Dariusz ROSATI, Chair of the EP Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee

following the decree issued by the President of the Russian Federation setting up a simplified procedure to obtain Russian citizenship and to issue Russian passports to residents in certain areas of Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions

We condemn the decree of the President of the Russian Federation of 24 April 2019 establishing a simplified procedure to apply for Russian citizenship and therefore to apply for Russian passports for those persons who permanently reside in certain areas of Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

The Russian decree is unacceptable and demonstrates, once again, the Russian authorities’ lack of respect for the sovereignty of Ukraine and international law. It also shows Russia’s continuous intentions to destabilize Ukraine, just three days after the Ukrainian people peacefully elected a new President through competitive elections.

The decree follows the Russian trend of issuing passports in areas with protracted conflicts in Eastern Partnership countries that are not under the control of their national governments, thereby deepening tensions in these regions. Unequivocally, the decree further weakens the expectations of the international community that the Minsk Agreements should be fully implemented.

The European Parliament in its 12 December 2018 Resolution on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement reiterated its condemnation of Russian aggression in the eastern part of Ukraine. Furthermore, the European Parliament in its 12 March 2019 Resolution on the state of EU-Russia political relations, called for confidence-building measures in the Donbas region. This new Russian decree follows a complete opposite policy.

We remain committed to supporting Ukraine's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and ask Russia to implement their commitments under the Minsk Agreements.

For further information:

Office of Mr Gahler: Tel.: +32 2 28 47 977; michael.gahler@europarl.europa.eu

Office of Ms Harms: +32 2 28 45695; rebecca.harms@europarl.europa.eu

Office of Mr Rosati: +32 2 28 474 82; dariusz.rosati@europarl.europa.eu

Secretariat of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine PAC: + 32 2 284 43 219, D-UA@europarl.europa.eu