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24 Apr, 2019 20:14

Kiev is fuming over Russia's move on passports for residents of Ukraine’s rebel regions

Kiev is fuming over Russia's move on passports for residents of Ukraine’s rebel regions

Russia's decision to facilitate getting Russian passports for residents of Ukraine's breakaway regions has caused an angry reaction in Kiev, which condemned the “aggression” and even filed a complaint with the UN Security Council.

The decree, implementing a simplified three-month period to get Russian citizenship for residents of the rebel-controlled areas of the Lugansk and Donetsk regions was signed by Russia's President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. While Putin explained the move was solely humanitarian and designed to ease up the hardships of people trapped in the civil conflict in the east of Ukraine, the decision caused a meltdown in Kiev.

Ukraine's outgoing president, Petro Poroshenko, who's been telling the public and the West, that his country has been battling “Russian aggression” for years already, said Putin's move was actual proof of it. Moreover, Moscow is plotting to get to a whole new level in its “aggression,” he claimed.

“It is actually about the Kremlin's preparations for the next step of aggression against our state – the annexation of the Ukrainian Donbass or the creation of a Russian enclave in Ukraine,” said Poroshenko without elaborating where such an “enclave” might pop up exactly.

While the passport move was announced just three days after Ukrainian presidential elections, when Poroshenko suffered a crushing defeat, Putin insisted it was not made to create “problems” for the new leadership of the country. President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky, however, was apparently not quite pleased, condemning Moscow's decision in Poroshenko-style terms.

The facilitated passport procedure is “another evident confirmation for the world community of Russia's true role as an aggressor state, which is waging a war against Ukraine,” Zelensky said in a statement.

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Aside from firing a verbal broadside at Russia, Kiev also made a complaint about Putin's “audacious move” with the UN Security Council, calling an emergency meeting of the international body, according to Ukraine's permanent representative to the UN, Volodymyr Yelchenko.

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