Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree, which makes it possible for residents of certain regions of southeastern Ukraine to obtain Russian citizenship under a simplified procedure. The document has been published on the Kremlin’s website.

“Individuals permanently residing in certain areas of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions have the right to apply for Russian citizenship under a simplified procedure,” the decree reads. According to the document, the decision has been made “in order to protect human rights and freedoms” based on generally accepted international laws.

The decree points out that residents of certain Ukrainian regions applying for Russian citizenship need to provide a number of documents, including passports. Their applications are to be processed within a period not exceeding three months.

Russia’s Interior Ministry, Foreign Ministry, Federal Security Service (FSB) and National Guard have been instructed to take measures to ensure the decree’s implementation.

The decree has entered into force on the day of its publication.

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