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Russian citizenship bill not conductive to peace in East Ukraine — Zelensky’s team

April 25, 4:55 UTC+3 KIEV

The president elect's office vowed support and protection to Donbass residents

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KIEV, April 25. /TASS/. The bill to ease the Russian citizenship procedure to residents of Ukraine’s self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) is not conductive to a ceasefire in the region, the team of Ukrainian president-elect Vladimir Zelensky said in a statement released via the Telegram messenger on Wednesday.

"Regretfully, this decree does not bring us closer to solving our principal task - achieving the ceasefire. Despite that, Ukraine will do its best to protect, render necessary assistance and ensure the rights of its citizens who are forced to stay on the occupied territories," the statement reads.

It says that by simplifying the visa procedure, "the Russian Federation has admitted its responsibility as the occupant state."

"Ukraine also expects the international community’s support on the issue of protecting the interests, rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens residing in the temporarily occupied territories and hopes that the diplomatic pressure and sanctions on Russia will be enhanced," Zelensky’s team said.

Among the new president’s priorities, the president elect’s team named "expanding possibilities for maintaining ties with Ukrainian citizens on the occupied territories" and "a complex of measures to stop the war and de-occupy our territories."

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree allowing the residents of several regions of southeastern Ukraine to receive Russian citizenship under a simplified procedure. The decision has been made "in order to protect human rights and freedoms" based on generally accepted international laws.

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