Ukrainians will reject Putin’s passport offer - President-elect

April 28, 2019 11:45
Breaking news

Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)

 KIEV - Russian President Vladimir Putin should not expect many Ukrainians to take up his offer of a Russian passport, Ukraine's President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, while offering Ukrainian citizenship to Russians.

Putin said on Saturday Moscow was considering offering all Ukrainian citizens fast-tracked Russian passports, a move likely to anger some politicians in Ukraine which has been at war with pro-Russian separatists since 2014.
"Ukraine’s difference, in particular, is in the fact that we, Ukrainians, have freedom of speech in our country, free media, and Internet," Zelenskiy said on Facebook.

"We will provide Ukrainian citizenship to representatives of all peoples who suffer from authoritarian and corrupt regimes. In the first place - the Russians, who today suffer probably the most," he added.

Putin made his statement days after signing an order to simplify the procedure for obtaining a Russian passport for residents of separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine, prompting calls from Kiev for more international sanctions.

Five years of war between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed forces have killed 13,000 people despite a notional ceasefire signed in 2015.

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