"We are closely monitoring the number of passports issued by the Russian Federation. This is not the first example. They did so during the Georgian war and the Moldovan process. They blackmail people who work in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. They pay salaries and say, 'If you don't get a passport, we will not pay you money.' This is total blackmail from the Russian Federation. [...] We believe that there are enough of them [citizens who have received Russian passports]. Today it is about 156,000 passports," Danilov said.
He stressed that Ukraine cannot physically influence this process, but the NSDC has lists of all Ukrainian citizens who received Russian passports. "We cannot physically influence it. Today, we are developing some proposals for what we should do. By the way, we have lists of all Ukrainian citizens who received these passports," he said.
On April 24, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree simplifying the granting of Russian citizenship to persons who permanently reside in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. On May 1, Putin issued a new decree simplifying the procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship for Ukrainians who lived in Crimea and Donbas until the spring of 2014.
Ukraine, the EU, the United States and other countries condemned this step by the Russian leadership.
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