Ukraine may suspend pension payment to those who illegally get Russian passports

Ukraine may stop paying off pensions and social benefits to its citizens who illegally received Russian passports, Iryna Friz, Minister of Veterans’ Affairs, said.

Earlier, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman stated that Ukraine would recognize passports issued by the Russian Federation to Ukrainian citizens in the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas as illegal and invalid.

Moreover, the Ukrainian government has announced introducing sanctions against Russian officials who contributed to the ‘passport case’.

“We are preparing now a list of officials of the Russian Federation to impose personal sanctions on them in coordination with international partners. The first step has already been taken,” quotes Vadym Chernysh, the Minister of Ukraine for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons.

According to him, the Ukrainian side knows perfectly well who are involved in this process.

In late April, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a decree easing citizenship rules for residents of the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk republics. They can apply for Russian citizenship in Russia’s Rostov Region; their applications will be considered within three months, the Russian Interior Ministry reported. The decision was made ‘in order to protect human rights and freedoms’.

On May 7, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin called on the EU and the G7 countries to introduce new sanctions against Russia in response to its decision to give Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens living in occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

On May 13, the EU foreign ministers will discuss the situation, Interfax agency reports with reference to an anonymous source in Brussels.

In turn, Dmitry Peskov, Press Secretary of the President of Russia, promised that the simplified procedure for obtaining citizenship would remain in force regardless of the reaction of Kyiv.

Expert explains why Russia is giving away passports in Donbas