EU not discussing more Russia sanctions over Donbass citizenship move

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BRUSSELS – This morning before the meeting of the foreign ministers of the European Union countries, the Czech Foreign Minister Tomash Petříček confirmed that the EU is not discussing new sanctions against Russia for issuing simplified Russian citizenship to residents of Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR).

This question interested Ukrainian journalists.

“We want a dialogue rather than using the methods of pressure resorted to by Russia,” said Petříček, stressing that the EU continues to support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

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Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Meleșcanu said that the problem of issuing Russian passports to residents of Donbass would be raised at the ministerial meeting.

From our point of view, this is not the best measure that could be taken (issuance of passports by Russia). Citizens should have a choice, but pushing citizens toward citizenship can create problems for Ukraine, ” explained Meleșcanu.

The Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier that the issuance of Russian passports, shorthand for citizenship, in the DPR and LPR will continue, despite Kiev’s plans to recognize them as invalid. But it is unclear beyond the use of the word ‘invalid’ how such passports could be considered invalid – on what basis or on what authority, and moreover, what practical policies or steps Kiev can derive from such a declaration.

Recall that in April, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree allowing in a simplified procedure to obtain Russian citizenship for residents living in the territories of certain districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine. In response, Kiev offered to deprive LDNR citizens of Ukraine’s citizenship, in a move which contradicts their claims that such Russian passports would be invalid, as convention holds that any given person is a citizen of at least one country or another.

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