The European Union deplores the decree signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 15 November on simplified trade rules to increase access of goods to and from the temporarily non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. According to a statement by the European Union External Action Service, the decree aims to further separate the temporarily non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk from Ukraine, in contradiction with the objectives of the Minsk Agreements.
“Such unilateral measures violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, including with regard to customs control. They have the potential to increase the tensions and prolong the status quo, while impeding the future reintegration process,” says the statement.
The EU calls on Russia to revoke this decision and to stop taking unilateral measures that only provoke further aggravation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.