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KIEV, February 21. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has called on the EU to tighten sanctions against Russia because of the recognition of passports issued by the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics (DPR, LPR), presidential spokesman Svyatoslav Tsegolko said.
"The president spoke out in favor of toughening sanctions against Russia because of its recognition of fake documents of the fake republics," he wrote on his Twitter page.
Poroshenko was speaking at a meeting with EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides. The Ukrainian leader also said that recognition of passports issued by the DPR and LPR in Russia runs counter to the Minsk agreements. "From the point of view of international law this is an element of recognition of these illegal entities and de facto renunciation of the Minsk process, since these steps are incompatible with the implementation of the Minsk agreements," he said. "We believe that this is a very worrisome phenomenon, which requires decisive action up to tightening sanctions."
On February 18, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on recognizing passports and license plates issued to citizens of Ukraine and individuals without citizenship permanently residing on the territory of separate districts of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier explained that the decree does not contravene international law, adding that this decision stemmed from humanitarian considerations.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier on Tuesday that the decree was signed solely in the interests of people and was prompted by humanitarian considerations. "Is it in line with the spirit and purpose of the Minsk agreements? It is. It is also in line with the letter of the Minsk agreements stipulating the need to resolve all humanitarian issues in that part of Donbass," Lavrov emphasized.