“The United States condemns President Putin’s highly provocative April 24 decision to provide expedited citizenship for Ukrainian citizens living in Russia-controlled eastern Ukraine. On May 1, Russia announced it would also expedite citizenship procedures for Crimean-born Ukrainians who left before the Russian occupation. Russia also announced the forcible imposition of Russian citizenship on the residents of the peninsula. These actions are an attempt to drive a wedge between Ukrainian citizens and their government,” Acting Deputy Chief of the U.S. Mission to the OSCE Gregory Macris said during the OSCE Permanent Council meeting in Vienna on Thursday, an Ukrinform correspondent reported.
The American diplomat underscored that the Kremlin’s actions created “a serious obstacle to the implementation of the Minsk agreements and the reintegration of the Donbas region and represent another attempt by Russia to undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty over Crimea and the Donbas.”
“These latest provocations from Russia came just days after the people of Ukraine overwhelming elected Volodymyr Zelenskyy as the next president of Ukraine. President-elect Zelenskyy has repeatedly expressed his readiness to engage with Russia to implement the Minsk agreements and end the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Russia must now decide whether it wants to escalate tensions or pursue peace,” Macris stated.
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