Russian President Vladimir Putin says his administration is considering a plan to ease the process of granting Russian citizenship to all Ukrainians, not only those in war-torn parts of eastern Ukraine. Putin made the remark on April 27 at an infrastructure development summit in Beijing.
On April 24, Putin announced a presidential decree that eases the process of granting Russian citizenship to anyone living in parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions that are under the control of Russia-backed separatists, as reported by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
That decree drew a swift and angry response from Kyiv, the United States, Britain, the European Union, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the international organization tasked with monitoring compliance with the 2015 Minsk agreements on eastern Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Putin’s decree “is actually about the Kremlin’s preparations for the next step of aggression against our state – the annexation of the Ukrainian Donbas or the creation of a Russian enclave in Ukraine.”
The OSCE said in a statement on April 25 that its chairmanship “believes that this unilateral measure could undermine the efforts for a peaceful resolution of the crisis in and around Ukraine.”