VIENNA, May 2. /TASS/. Moscow decided to simplify the procudere of obtaining Russian citizenship for Donbass residents becayse the Ukrainian authorities are depriving them of their legal rights, Russia's Deputy Envoy to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Dmitry Balakin said on Thursday.
Balakin said Russia regrets to see how Kiev deprived Donbass residents of almost all their legal rights and excluded them from political and social-economic processes in Ukraine, thus making them de facto disenfranchised people on the territory of their own country.
"In the current conditions, the Russian Federation, led by purely humanitarian considerations, decided to simplify the procedure of obtaining Russian citizenship for residents of separate areas of Donbass without making them give up their current citizenship. There is no truth to statements by certain representatives who said that Donbass residents are being forced to obtain Russian citizenship," the diplomat noted.
On April 24, 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. According to the document, the decision has been made "in order to protect human rights and freedoms" based on universally accepted international laws.