Russia facilitates naturalization for eastern Ukrainians | TIME ONLINE

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Russian President Wladimir Putin has signed a decree to facilitate the purchase of a Russian passport to eastern Ukrainians. This was announced by the Kremlin. As a result, residents residing in "individual counties" of the Donetsk and Luhansk areas may become Russian citizens in a "simplified procedure". The decree also stipulates that the decision of the Russian authorities on such a request will in future not last longer than three months.

Ukraine fears that the Russian naturalization of eastern Ukrainians to a similar development as in Moldova's Transnistria. In the region split off from Moldova in 1990, the majority of its inhabitants also have Russian citizenship. In an escalation of the conflict, the Kremlin, according to its doctrine, could directly use the Russian army under the pretext of protecting its own citizens – similar to Georgian South Ossetia in August 2008.

After the war with Russia In 2008, Georgia lost control of its breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Subsequently, Russia recognized the territories as independent states. Even in the Ukraine conflict there is a possibility that Russia officially recognizes the regions separated from Ukraine.

Volodymyr Selensky wants to continue peace negotiations

Only last Sunday, the people in the Ukraine the comedian and political novice Volodymyr Selenskyj was elected new head of state. Selenskyj had named the peace negotiations for eastern Ukraine with Russia in his victory speech as a priority. He would "continue the Minsk talks, re-record them". He also pledged to ensure the return of Ukrainians detained in the separatist-controlled areas and in Russia.

For years, government forces in the east of Ukraine have been fighting against separatists supported by Russia. Since the conflict began, around 13,000 people have been killed.

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