State Dept. blasts Russia’s offer of citizenship to residents of Eastern Ukraine

OAN Newsroom
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.

FILE – People line up after crossing the contact line between pro-Moscow rebels and Ukrainian troops as they wait at passport control in Mayorsk, Ukraine February 25, 2019. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich/File Photo)

Earlier in the day, Vladimir Putin signed a decree to expedite the naturalization of residents of Russian-controlled parts of Ukraine as Russian citizens. Residents of those occupied areas welcomed Putin’s decision.

“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.

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