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11 March 2021, 19:10

Minsk-2

No grain of truth in Reznikov’s statement that Russia doesn’t need Donbass - Kobtseva

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LUGANSK, March 11 (Lugansk Media Centre) - The statement by Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Reintegration of the “Temporarily Occupied Territories” Alexey Reznikov about Russia’s not needing Donbass has no grain of truth, LPR representative in the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup, head of the LPR working group on prisoner exchange Olga Kobtseva said at a press briefing at the Lugansk Media Centre.

In an interview to a Ukrainian mass media outlet, Reznikov expressed doubts that the LPR and the Donetsk People’s Republic could join Russia as it would be an economic disadvantage to Moscow. He believes that the Russian Federation does not need Donbass and that the Russians do not regard Donbass Republics residents as their fellow countrymen.

“The Donbass residents made decisions on their own to obtain passports of the Russian Federation. It is the right of every person. I want to emphasise that Reznikov’s statement is a barefaced lie, hypocrisy, play of words and phrase-mongering because there is no grain of truth in what Mr Reznikov has stated,” Kobtseva said.

Beginning from 2014, Kiev’s actions deprived Donbass residents - who were citizens of Ukraine at that point - of all constitutional rights, the right to life and the right to freedom, she said.

“I’d draw this parallel: the statements by Mr Reznikov, (head of the Ukrainian President’s Office Andrey) Yermak, (Ukrainian President Vladimir) Zelensky, (head of the Ukrainian delegation in the Contact Group Leonid) Kravchuk show that the current situation in the state of Ukraine is catastrophic in that unwanted television channels are shut down for presenting the real picture and people who are Ukrainian citizens are subjected to sanctions,” the LPR representative said.

Such actions "show the incapability of the Ukrainian government and president, their ratings are plunging, so to redeem themselves they proceeded to escalate the conflict in Donbass,” Kobtseva said.

Russian lawmaker Andrey Kozenko, coordinator of the Russia-Donbass Integration Committee, said at the “Russian Donbass” integration forum in Donetsk that more than 400,000 Donbass residents had obtained fast track Russian citizenship.

On April, 24, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree easing citizenship rules for residents of the Lugansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic. LPR Head Leonid Pasechnik thanked Russia for this move and ordered the ministries concerned to create the necessary conditions for accepting  residents’ Russian citizenship application documents. The first centre for LPR residents seeking Russian citizenship opened in Lugansk on May 6. The Republic currently has such centres in all towns and districts. On April 24, 2020, Putin signed the law exempting Donbass Republics residents from paying the state fee for conferment of citizenship.

The first LPR residents received Russian passports under a simplified procedure on June 14, 2019; by early October 2020, their number had increased to 150,000.

LuganskMediaCentre — 11 March — Lugansk