LONDON, April 25. /TASS/. UK officials have condemned Russia’s decision to simplify procedures for Donbass residents to obtain Russian passports, the UK Foreign Office informed in a statement published on its website.
"The UK condemns [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin’s decision to sign a decree making it easier for Ukrainian citizens living in non-Government controlled areas of eastern Ukraine to receive Russian passports," a spokesperson of the UK Foreign Office said.
"This step is the latest in a pattern of Russian behaviour aimed at threatening Ukraine’s security and sovereignty, and undermining its territorial integrity," the diplomat continued.
"Rather than creating further obstacles to the re-integration of these communities into Ukraine, Russia should focus on implementing the Minsk Agreements, including the requirement to ensure safe access, delivery, storage, and distribution of humanitarian assistance," the statement said.
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree allowing the residents of several regions of southeastern Ukraine to receive Russian citizenship in a simplified manner.
"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.