BERLIN, April 25. /TASS/. Berlin and Paris denounce Moscow’s decision to simplify procedures for Donbass residents to obtain Russian passports, the German Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
"Together with France, we denounce Russia’s decree aimed at simplifying citizenship for residents of areas in eastern Ukraine. These regions are part of the Ukrainian state," the statement reads.
"Russia’s decision contradicts the spirit and goals of the Minsk Agreements," the German Foreign Ministry said, adding that Moscow’s move "runs counter to what needs to be done at the moment to contribute to efforts aimed at de-escalating" the situation in Donbass."
On April 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree, which eases Russian citizenship rules for residents of certain regions of southeastern Ukraine. "Individuals permanently residing in certain areas of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions have the right to apply for Russian citizenship under a simplified procedure," the decree reads. According to the document, the decision has been made "in order to protect human rights and freedoms" based on generally accepted international laws.