Passports issued in occupied Donbas to Ukrainian citizens will not be recognised by the European Union (EU).

The EU announced this in a statement on “Russia’s Ongoing Aggression against Ukraine and Illegal Occupation of Crimea,” which was made public at the OSCE Permanent Council meeting in Vienna, Austria.

The statement reads: “We reiterate our utmost concern about the Russian presidential decrees and their extensions, enabling the simplified issuing of Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens, which constitutes yet another attack on the sovereignty of Ukraine and runs counter to the spirit and objectives of the Minsk agreements.

“In this context, we wish to inform our partners that last week the European Commission and the EEAS sent guidance to the Member States and Schengen associated countries’ consulates on how to identify and not to recognise the passports issued in the implementation of the Russian presidential decree of 24 April, in contradiction to the Minsk agreements.”

Ukrainian broadcaster Ukrinforum reports Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree earlier this year to provide expedited citizenship for permanent residents of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.

“A few days later he issued another decree, simplifying the procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship for Ukrainians who lived in Crimea and the Donbas prior to spring 2014.”

These decrees were condemned by Ukraine, the EU, the US and other countries, the broadcaster reported.

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