Russia has issued up to 300,000 passports in occupied areas of eastern Ukraine.

Russia has issued from 250,000 to 300,000 passports in the temporarily occupied territory of eastern Ukraine to declare later the “need to protect” Russian citizens.

However, Ukrainian territories do not need to be protected from Ukrainians, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with Le Figaro on the eve of his meeting with Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

“The passports have been issued in the temporarily occupied Donbas. Now there are from 250,000 to 300,000 people with Russian passports. They [Russians] do it to say later ‘we are protecting the citizens of Russia’. Look: this is our land, our territory, according to all real maps of the world, not conditional. And our people live in these territories. And we are very open, so citizens of different countries live there, such is the world. And our territories must not be protected from us,” Zelensky said.

The President stressed that a similar story happened in Crimea where, according to him, Russia had been issuing its passports since the beginning of Ukraine's independence.

“And then they invaded and said they were protecting Russian people. But when you defend, 14,000 people don't die. It sounds the same in Ukrainian, French and even Russian, that when you defend, people stay alive,” the Head of State stressed.

Zelensky believes that Russia's rhetoric about “protection of Russian citizens” is dangerous for Ukraine, Europe, and even Russia.

"There are Russians all over the world, as well as Ukrainians, the French people and other nations. The world is wider than the former Soviet Union, Europe, the United States, China. We cannot restrict people from living or working somewhere on national grounds. For example, IT specialists. We can say that citizens of Russia, India, Ukraine, Great Britain and other countries living in Silicon Valley must be protected. Most of them are not Americans. But this does not mean that each of these countries must protect its citizens and send troops there,” the President said.

On April 16, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and First Lady Olena Zelenska make a working visit to France. Russia's escalation of the security situation on Ukraine's eastern borders is expected to be the main topic of the meeting between the presidents of Ukraine and France.

ol

UkrInform

Ukraine and world news. Ukrinform brings the latest news, daily news, political news, business news, social news, cultural news, sports news, international news

https://www.ukrinform.net/

Related news
Live: Russia shows military might during WW2 anniversary parade.

Live: Russia shows military might during WW2 anniversary parade.

RUSSIA shows off military might during lavish WW2 anniversary parade in Red Square. The annual parades mark the Russian victory over Nazi Germany at the end of World War 2 Read more: How Vladimir Putin is squaring up to the world with ‘my weapon’s...

The ekranoplan flying boat: Russia's 'Caspian Sea Monster' - Focus on Europe.

The ekranoplan flying boat: Russia's 'Caspian Sea Monster' - Focus on Europe.

A gigantic flying boat from Soviet times could bring tourists flocking to the Caspian Sea. Even if the 'monster' no longer flies, it is still very impressive. Subscribe: For more news go to: Follow DW on social media: ►Facebook: ►Twitter: ►Instagr...

Police search a house following an arrest in connection with murder of PCSO Julia James.

Police search a house following an arrest in connection with murder of PCSO Julia James.

FORENSIC officers at an address in Aylesham, Kent following the arrest of man in his 20s in connection with the murder of PCSO Julia James. Ms James, a popular community support officer, was found dead in Akholt Wood near her home in Snowdown, Ken...

In Full: Sophy Ridge on Sunday

In Full: Sophy Ridge on Sunday

Sophy Ridge reviews the new electoral map after 'Super Thursday' with Michael Gove, Shadow Scotland Secretary Ian Murray, Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey, Labour MP Diane Abbot and the SNP's Deputy Leader Keith Brown. SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube cha...

Diane Abbott says 'It's baffling' why Keir Starmer sacked Angela Rayner.

Diane Abbott says 'It's baffling' why Keir Starmer sacked Angela Rayner.

Former Labour frontbencher Diane Abbott says sacking Angela Rayner was "not a unifying thing for Sir Keir Starmer to do." She called for a return to the "popular policies" of the 2019 manifesto that led to Labour's worst election defeat since 1935...

More than 50 killed in blasts near Kabul girl's school - DW News.

More than 50 killed in blasts near Kabul girl's school - DW News.

An explosion outside a girls' school in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood of western Kabul on Saturday killed more than 50 people — all of them civilians, with most being young girls between the ages of 11 and 15. The blast left more than 100 people...