UPDATED 10:25 AM PT – Thursday, April 25, 2019
The State Department is condemning Russia’s offer of citizenship to residents of the occupied regions of Eastern Ukraine.
In a statement Wednesday, Department officials said the move is a provocative act, which could damage peace settlement in parts of the region.
According to U.S. officials, the decision could hurt Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“For people who live here, it is impossible to use their Ukrainian citizenship to the fullest. Many do not have an opportunity to move to Ukraine. It will be easier for them to get a Russian passport and enjoy all the benefits — the right to vote, to cross borders, even staying in Russia longer will be easier for those who will get passports.”
— Donestsk resident
The State Department also urged Russia to uphold its commitments to a peace settlement, and ease back its occupation of Eastern Ukraine.