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Zelenskyy reacts to Russian plan to issue passports to Ukrainians

"You should not use the language of threats when talking to Ukraine."

Zelenskyy reacts to Russian plan to issue passports to Ukrainians
Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Photo: EPA/UPG

Ukrainian presidential election winner Volodymyr Zelenskyy has reacted to Russian President Vladimir Putin's plans to issue Russian passports to Ukrainians.

"We are absolutely aware of what the Russian passport actually gives. It is the right to be arrested for a peaceful protest. It is the right not have free and competitive elections. It is the right to forget altogether about natural human rights and freedoms. Therefore, you should not expect many Ukrainians to become 'new oil' into which the Russian authorities are trying to transform their own people," he said on Facebook.

He said that Russia should not use the language of threats and pressure when talking to Ukraine because it is not the best way to stop shooting.

"I stress once again that I am prepared for talks. I hope that Russia shows readiness for de-escalation at the next meeting in the Normandy format. The real proof of this readiness should be a mutual exchange of our [jailed] citizens in the 'all for all' format. Without exceptions. For our part, we are prepared to discuss the new conditions of Ukraine's coexistence with Russia. We realise that real normalisation can take place only after the full de-occupation of both Donbas and Crimea. Ukraine does not surrender! In any sense of this word," he said.

He added that he hopes "Russia wants to talk more than to shoot".

On 24 April, Putin signed a decree to relax citizenship regulations for residents of the occupied parts of Ukraine's Donbas. On 27 April, he said these regulations would apply to all Ukrainians.

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