18 Feb 2020 22:18

Russian Foreign Ministry accuses Kyiv, EU countries of discriminating against Donbas residents

MOSCOW. Feb 18 (Interfax) - The Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday accused Ukrainian authorities and EU member states of infringing on the rights of the population in the southeast of Ukraine, in particular, when it comes to recognition of Russian passports issued to residents of Donbas.

"Recently, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office initiated a criminal case in respect to the 'forcible' issuance of passports of the [self-]proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic to Donbas residents. It is the height of cynicism; first, they deprive people of access to basic, vitally importance services, and then, when they attempt to resolve pressing issues by adapting to the existing circumstances, begin prosecuting them," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"Member states of the European Union have also joined in on the tactic of strangling Donbas residents," the Foreign Ministry said. "Part of European Union states made a decision to deny recognition of Russian passports issued to Donbas residents for humanitarian reasons and not to grant Schengen visas to them, as they did in relation to Crimean residents earlier. We consider it outright discrimination and infringement upon human rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, the European Convention on Nationality of 1997, and other international documents guarantee the right to free choice of citizenship," the ministry said.