Russian passport decree concerning eastern Ukraine: UK statement

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The UK condemns President Putin’s decision to sign a decree making it easier for Ukrainian citizens living in non-government controlled areas of eastern Ukraine to receive Russian passports. This step is the latest in a pattern of Russian behaviour aimed at threatening Ukraine’s security and sovereignty, and undermining its territorial integrity.

Russian officials have sought to justify this move by citing humanitarian concerns. Yet the communities they claim to support are suffering the consequences of a conflict started and fuelled by Russia and its proxies. Rather than creating further obstacles to the re-integration of these communities into Ukraine, Russia should focus on implementing the Minsk Agreements, including the requirement to ensure safe access, delivery, storage, and distribution of humanitarian assistance.

The UK will continue to work with our international partners in addressing the humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine. We have increased our funding by £2.8 million for humanitarian support to the country as well as £3.5 million for further peacebuilding activities, including supporting conflict-affected populations and helping to address gender-based violence.

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