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:
- Ensure the recognition of certificates of origin issued in the DNR and LNR;
- Ensure access to state procurements for goods originating from the DNR and LNR, on equal conditions with goods of Russian origin;
- Abolish quantitative restrictions on the movement of goods from the DNR and LNR to Russia and vice versa (exceptions apply to certain goods);
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 recognition of certificates of origin for our goods, their admission to state procurements on par with Russian [goods], and the abolition of quantitative restrictions, that is quotas on both our exports and on imports from the Russian Federation, gives industrial enterprises in the DNR and LNR the same rights as manufacturers from the Russian Federation,” Pushilin proclaimed.
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.