MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. The European Union (EU) countries have joined the policy of stifling Donbass residents as they do not recognize Russian passports received by those residents, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement released on Tuesday.
"EU member countries have joined the tactic of stifling Donbass residents. Several EU countries have decided not to recognize the Russian passports received by Donbass residents on humanitarian grounds and not to stamp Schengen visas in them, just as it was done before with Crimean residents," the statement said. "We consider this as direct discrimination and violation of human rights," the statement added.
The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that the right to choose citizenship freely is "guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from 1948, the European Convention on Nationality from 1997 and other international documents."
"Recently Ukrainian General Prosecutor's Office has opened criminal cases over 'forced' issuance to Donbass residents of passports of the proclaimed Lugansk People's Republic," the statement said. "This represents extreme cynicism — to deprive people of access to basic vital services, and when they start adpating to new circumstances and try to solve pressing issues, to open criminal cases against them," the statement added.