Putin denies Russian Federation is provoking Ukraine with rebel passports move

Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelensky is a Ukrainian politician screenwriter actor and director of Ukrainian film studio Kvartal 95. Zelensky is one of lea

Netanyahu Invites New Ukrainian Jewish President to Israel 70 Wikimedia CommonsDEBORAH DANAN23 Apr 2019

According to Yelchenko, this is nothing else but an artificial pretext to continue sending Russian troops to Ukraine and sustain the undisguised military aggression against Ukraine.

The language bill was passed a day after the Kremlin said that it would be offering fast-track Russian citizenship to Ukrainians living in the areas under separatist control. The Ukrainian parliament has approved a controversial language law in the largely bilingual country which provides for the mandatory use of the national language by government agencies, local self-government and in other spheres of public life.

The European Union on Thursday criticized Russia for making it easier for Ukrainians living in breakaway eastern areas to get Russian citizenship, in the process trying to harm Ukrainian sovereignty.

The United Nations Security Council met to discuss the issue on Thursday at the request of Ukraine.

The move is bound to test Ukraine's incoming president, the comedian-turned-politician Volodymyr Zelensky, and his approach to Ukraine's powerful Russian neighbor.

"Austria supports the European Union's sanctions against Russian Federation and demands the restoration of [Ukraine's] territorial integrity", he said.

The decree was aimed at residents of the unrecognised Donetsk and Lugansk republics that broke away from Kiev in 2014 and are governed by Moscow-backed rebels.

The UN's political affairs chief has urged all parties to the peace plan protocol for eastern Ukraine known as the Minsk Agreements, to avoid "any unilateral steps" that could undermine efforts to demilitarize the eastern conflict zone.

The law is primarily seen as a way to spite the Russian-speaking minority in the country's east.

Putin said on Thursday that Moscow was willing to work with Zelenskiy if he implemented the full terms of the 2015 truce agreements, brokered in the Belarus capital Minsk with global support.

Five years of war have killed 13,000 people.

The document said that "attempts to introduce official multilingualism in Ukraine" is unconstitutional.

Latest News