MOSCOW, February 16. /TASS/. The practice of issuing Russian passports to Donbass residents does not violate the Minsk Accords, Moscow does this for humanitarian reasons, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
"This practice is not a violation of the Minsk Accords. It is enough to simply read at least once this short and extremely specific text. This is why these reproaches are unsound," the Kremlin official said.
He noted that "the citizens of self-proclaimed republics experience extreme problems in the social sphere because they were rejected by their motherland, Ukraine - both in terms of movement and in terms of obtaining social, financial services." "This is why Russia, for humanitarian reasons, adheres to this practice of issuing passports. Russia issues passports not only to the citizens of these self-proclaimed republics but to the citizens of various countries worldwide, and this is a rather common practice," the spokesman added.
On February 10, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said that he addressed the OSCE with an inquiry on preparing a report over Russia granting citizenship to Donbass residents.
On April 24, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree making it easier for residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) to obtain Russian passports and citizenship. As of the end of January 2021, more than 720,000 Donbass residents took advantage of their right to obtain Russian citizenship using the simplified process.
Kiev asserted that it considers the issuance of Russian passports illegal and won’t recognize them.