Address of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Council of Europe and their parliamentary assemblies, the European Parliament, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, parliaments and governments of the member states of the European Union, the United States of America, Canada, the North Atlantic Alliance, diplomatic missions of foreign states in Ukraine on the criminal decision of the Russian Federation's leadership on issuing Russian passports to citizens of Ukraine in the territories of Donbas temporarily occupied by Russia
As it is commonly known, on 18 December 2018 the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation adopted a federal law that gives the President of the Russian Federation the authority to determine for the humanitarian purposes the categories of foreign citizens and stateless persons entitled to receive a Russian citizenship under simplified procedure.
On the basis of this law on 24 April 2019 President of the Russian Federation V. Putin issued the decree "On defining, for humanitarian purposes, the categories of persons entitled to apply for the citizenship of the Russian Federation under simplified procedure".
This document opens the door for the illegal issuance of Russian passports to citizens of Ukraine, residing in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine.
This yet another aggressive step of the Russian authorities took place despite the fact that in 2017 the international community condemned Russia's recognition of "documents" issued to Ukrainian citizens in the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas. In particular, the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, who leads an international organization that is directly involved in the settlement of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, called these actions to be in contravention of the objectives of its settlement.
By this the Kremlin once again deliberately and cynically violated the generally accepted principles of international law. The previous practice of Russia's misuse of the institution of citizenship in the temporarily occupied territories testifies its coercive and discriminatory nature, and is an instrument of committing crimes against humanity, and results in a violation of human rights. The cynicism is that the text of the decree states that this decision was made by the President of the Russian Federation on the basis of "generally accepted principles and norms of international law".
The Russian Federation, violating sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, took yet another step towards destruction of the norms of international law and violation of international treaties to which it is a party.
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is convinced that such unfriendly actions of the Russian Federation leadership constitute a gross interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine, acknowledgement and strengthening of the illegal occupation of the Ukrainian Donbas. These actions are aimed at destabilizing the internal political situation in Ukraine in the post-election period.
By these actions, the Kremlin also dispelled the key point of Russian propaganda about the "internal Ukrainian conflict".
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine strongly condemns the aggressive actions of the Russian leadership, emphasizes that violation of Russia of international law and international treaties and the escalation of tension in Donbas is inadmissible.
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is profoundly concerned by the fact that the practice of illegal issuing of passports in the territories occupied by Russia was used by the Kremlin also in other protracted conflicts as a legal and humanitarian reason for further aggression, with the justification of the alleged protection of its citizens residing outside the Russian Federation.
Legitimisation of the illegal, according to the international legal standards, issuance of passports by the Russian Federation under the so-called South Ossetia and Transnistria scenarios is an attempt to justify, legitimise and expand the military presence of Russia in the temporarily occupied territory of the Ukrainian Donbas.
By his decree President of the Russian Federation V. Putin creates legal grounds to use the Russian armed forces against Ukraine. This is due to the fact that Russian legislation allows the use of armed forces to protect citizens of the Russian Federation outside the territory of the Russian Federation.
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine considers the decree of the President of the Russian Federation "On defining, for humanitarian purposes, the categories of persons entitled to apply for the citizenship of the Russian Federation under simplified procedure" to be legally null and void. It cannot change the fact that the residents of the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas are citizens of Ukraine.
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine supports the initiative of President of Ukraine P. Poroshenko to urgently bring the issue of possible illegal passportization of the Ukrainian citizens, residing in the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas, under discussion within the framework of the UN Security Council and other international fora, in particular OSCE and the EU.
In this regard, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine appeals strongly to condemn the above-mentioned destructive actions of the Russian Federation that grossly violate Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, human and citizen rights in Ukraine, and to consolidate the efforts to counteract the aggressive actions of the Russian Federation, take measures to strengthen the international sanctions regime against the Russian Federation.
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine also demands from President of the Russian Federation V. Putin to revoke the decree "On defining, for humanitarian purposes, the categories of persons entitled to apply for the citizenship of the Russian Federation under simplified procedure".