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Minister of Foreign Affairs

Linas Linkevičius

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MFA Statement on the procedure for issue of Russian passports in the illegally occupied Ukrainian territory

Created: 2019.04.25 / Updated: 2019.04.26 09:20

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemns the decree by the Russian President Vladimir Putin on a simplified procedure for granting Russian citizenship to Ukrainian citizens, who reside in temporarily occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. Lithuania maintains that such a move is an illegal interference into Ukraine’s internal affairs and a violation of its territorial integrity.

Lithuania calls on the international community to strongly condemn the unjustifiable actions by Russia, not to recognise the illegally issued documents by the Russian Federation and consistently strengthen sanctions on Russia for persistently violating Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Lithuanian Seimas, in its resolution of 24 April 2014 on the Situation in Ukraine, underlines that it considers the continued presence of the armed forces of the Russian Federation and armed formations controlled by it in the territory of Ukraine as the occupation of the relevant parts of the Ukrainian territory. Facilitating the procedure for issuance of  Russian passports is yet another step towards incorporation of the temporarily occupied parts of Ukraine into the Russian jurisdiction, which constitutes  a gross violation of the Minsk Agreements and poses a threat of continued political and military escalation. Russia’s decision adopted so soon after the end of the Presidential elections in  Ukraine, should be considered as a deliberate pressure on Ukraine and its President-elect.

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomes the return of Ukrainian citizens who were illegally captured and detained by Russia. Among the released prisoners is Oleh Sencov, winner of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2018, Edem Bekirov, a Crimean Tatar activist and other political prisoners, as well as 24 sailors captured during the aggressive actions of Russia in the Strait of Kerch in 2018. We share the joy of the families of those released and wish them a prompt recovery.

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On 26 April, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Linas Linkevičius, continued his visit in Kiev, Ukraine, and met with Prime Minister of Ukraine, Volodymyr Groysman, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pavlo Klimkin. A day before, on 25 April, Linas Linkevičius had a meeting with President Petro Poroshenko, whose term as president is coming to an end.

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On 3 April in Washington, the USA, on the margins of the NATO's 70th anniversary events, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius met with Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Ivana Klympush-Cincadze and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia David Zalkaliani.

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Lithuania strongly supports Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. We condemn the ongoing military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine that flagrantly violates international law, the Charter of the United Nations, the provisions of the Helsinki Final Act, and bilateral agreements between Ukraine and Russia. We will continue to support Ukraine and coherently implement the policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea five years ago.

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania allocated EUR 30 thousand in humanitarian aid to Ukraine which will be transferred to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). This contribution is another step in implementing the Humanitarian Response Plan for Ukraine initiated by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) that amounts to USD 187 million in 2018, however, has been implemented by only 38 per cent so far.

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On 12 December, marking the 27th anniversary of the establishment of Lithuanian-Ukrainian diplomatic relations Minister Linas Linkevičius opened in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the exhibition of paintings and posters by Ukrainian children dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the statehood of Lithuania. Two new publications featuring the history of Lithuania and Ukraine were presented during the opening of the exhibition.

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