Putin signs decree easing access to Russian markets for goods from the Donetsk and Luhansk ‘people’s republics’
President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree instructing the government to take steps to ease access to Russian markets for goods from the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DNR) and the “Luhansk People’s Republic” (LNR), reports the state news agency TASS.
The document, formally on the provision of “humanitarian support” for people living in the Kremlin-backed separatist territories in eastern Ukraine, was published on the Russian government’s official legal information portal on Monday, November 15.
The decree gives the Russian government one month to:
The documents notes that these measures are an “exception” that will remain in place until a political settlement is reached on the basis of the Minsk agreements. The decree also states that this decision was made “to protect human rights and freedoms” in the regions, provide humanitarian support to residents, and “prevent further worsening of living conditions amid the continuing economic blockade and the deteriorating coronavirus situation.”
“Russia has fully opened its markets for the goods we produce,” DNR leader Denis Pushilin wrote on Telegram on Monday, in response to the decree.
The DNR and LNR made the Russian ruble their main currency in 2015. Russia began recognizing passports issued by the self-proclaimed “people’s republics” in 2017, and in 2019, made it easier for residents of these regions to obtain Russian citizenship. In 2021, Russian passport holders living in the DNR and LNR were allowed to vote in the State Duma elections.