Lavrov: issuance of Russian passports to Donbass residents in line with international law

Lavrov: issuance of Russian passports to Donbass residents in line with international law

Moscow does not violate international law by issuing Russian passports to residents of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday at a meeting with civil society members at the Sambek Heights Museum Complex dedicated to the Great Patriotic War.

"First, the European Convention on Human Rights says that every country has the right to decide to whom to provide citizenship. Other conventions say that every person has the right to choose citizenship," he pointed out.

Lavrov noted that "Hungarians, Poles and Romanians in Ukraine have been holding those countries’ passports for decades and no one ever asked any questions." However, as soon as Russia began to issue passports to Donbass residents, the Ukrainian authorities started expressing outrage. "Every time we send humanitarian aid to eastern Ukraine - the Emergencies Ministry has recently sent another shipment - they loudly protest and demand that we stop. Stop what? Stop providing humanitarian assistance to the people they are actually trying to strangle?" TASS cited the Russian top diplomat as saying.

"We need to help the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, which agreed to accept the Minsk Agreements in 2015 and abandon independence demands, provided they have guarantees for the preservation of their culture, language and historic ties with the neighboring Russian regions," Lavrov concluded.

On April 24, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on fast-track citizenship for residents of the Donbass republics.

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