Comments and statements by Foreign Ministry Spokesman
Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova’s comment in connection with EU’s another display of double standards with regard to Donbass residents
The EU's recent reaction to amendments to Russian legislation introduced on November 4 regarding recognition of documents and motor vehicle licence plates issued in certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine was surprising. The European External Action Service’s statement referred to Russia’s humanitarian step that was caused by necessity and was aimed at making life easier and ensuring freedom of movement for Donbass residents as an attempted attack on Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
Thus, the EU has once again demonstrated complete indifference to the fate of that country’s citizens residing in Donbass, their rights and fundamental freedoms. For six years now, these people have been courageously defending their right to their own identity in the face of severe economic, financial, transport and humanitarian blockade imposed by the new Ukrainian government following the nationalist coup.
Regrettably, our Western European partners, who in February 2014, despite the guarantees provided by Germany, France and Poland, did nothing to prevent the coup, the Ukrainian nationalists’ punitive operation against Donbass residents and imposition of the region’s blockade, continue to support Kiev’s cynical policy of discrimination.
This policy put 3.7 million people – almost three times more than the population of Estonia (1.3 million people) and slightly less than the population of Croatia (4 million people) – on the brink of survival. They are now deprived of the fundamental rights and freedoms that are guaranteed, in particular, by the 1966 international covenants on economic, social and cultural rights, as well as civil and political rights, not to mention the Constitution of Ukraine.
The EU countries which proclaimed the protection of human rights around the world their key value are actually participating in the act of choking Donbass. They chose not to recognise Russian passports issued to Donbass residents for humanitarian reasons and not to stamp visas in them, as was previously done with respect to the residents of Crimea. This is blatant discrimination and violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The right to freely choose citizenship is guaranteed by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 1997 European Convention on Citizenship, and other international acts. In addition, as follows from the above statement by the European External Action Service, the EU is proud of its actions.
At the same time, the EU shows complete indifference when it comes to gross violations of language and education rights of Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine. It is concerned about the future of only those ethnicities in Ukraine who speak the EU member states’ languages. The EU criticises Russian legislation that makes life easier for Ukrainian citizens completely ignoring Kiev’s legislative innovations and actions, which make their life unbearable.
We call on our EU partners to avoid such blatant duplicity and hypocrisy in their policies towards Ukraine and human rights in general.