EU condemns Russian decision to grant citizenship to Ukrainians from militarily occupied regions

Bloc considers latest presidential decrees an attempt to 'forcefully integrate parts of Ukrainian territory'.

EU condemns Russian decision to grant citizenship to Ukrainians from militarily occupied regions

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell deplored on Friday the latest Russian decision on granting passports to Ukrainians as an attempt to “forcefully integrate” Ukrainian regions under military control.

In a statement released on behalf of the EU, Borrell “strongly condemned” the Russian presidential decrees on citizenship signed on May 25 and May 30.

The decisions simplify the Russian citizenship procedure and issuance of passports for Ukrainians from the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions which are under Moscow's military control, and for unaccompanied minors and legally incapacitated people from these areas, as well as from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Borrell pointed out that the EU considers this move as an attempt by Russia “to forcefully integrate parts of Ukrainian territory” and that the bloc will not recognize these passports.

He also condemned Russian attempts to replace the “democratically elected and legitimate Ukrainian administration,” including the introduction of a parallel currency to the Ukrainian hryvnia, as well as education materials in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.

He stressed that these attempts are against international law, and responsible for further undermining Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

The EU has allocated €2 billion ($2.15 billion) in military aid to Ukraine and mobilized more than €4 billion in macro-financial assistance, humanitarian aid, and support to EU countries hosting refugees from Ukraine since the Russia-Ukraine war began on Feb. 24.

It has also imposed six sets of sanctions targeting, among others, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, as well as banning oil and coal imports, the export of luxury goods, and excluding Russian and Belarusian banks from using the SWIFT system.

The bloc is also set to allocate another €9 billion credit to Ukraine.

Hüseyin Demir