Russian President Vladimir Putin has once again committed an act of aggression against Ukraine by signing a decree setting out which groups of people are, for humanitarian reasons, entitled to apply for Russian citizenship through a simplified procedure in the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk currently under occupation by the Russian Army.
According to the decree, the Russian president made the decision “in order to protect human and citizen rights and freedoms” based on “commonly recognised principles and norms of international law” in accordance with the Russian Law on citizenship from May 31, 2002.
Applications from the aforementioned people will be “considered within a three-month period” from the day the necessary documents are submitted, according to the decree.
Citizenship will be granted and passports issued after applicants swear The Oath of a Citizen of the Russian Federation.
This is yet another brazen attempt to cause tension and conflict between the two countries. It took all of three days after Ukraine’s democratic and transparent presidential elections for Putin to continue Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukrainian sovereignty.
This blatant action, taken under the pretense of protecting human rights, should be condemned by the international community. The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO) is calling on the Australian Government to expand the sanctions regime against the Russian Federation.
“The ongoing hostile behaviour against Ukraine and disregard for international standards and principles need to be stopped in its tracks,” AFUO Chairman Stefan Romaniw OAM said.
“The AFUO calls on the Australian Government to encourage its international partners to impose additional and more stringent economic sanctions on the Russian Federation and deny Russian banks access to the SWIFT system,” Mr. Romaniw said.
Putin’s latest move will have short- and long-term outcomes.
Propaganda put out by the Russian Occupation Army and their proxy administrators in the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics say about 3.6 million people live in the areas under their control.
By offering them Russian citizenship, Putin seems to be repeating a tactic used in the breakaway Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Thousands of people held Russian passports in the two territories before the 2008 war between Georgia and Russia, which Russia cited as the justification for its military intervention by claiming it was acting to protect its citizens.
The international community must not wait and act accordingly now to stop Putin’s plans before it is too late.
Further information contact – Stefan Romaniw +61 419 531 255
April 24th 2019