February 20, 2017 / 12:48 PM / 3 years ago

France decries Moscow recognition of passports issued by rebels in Ukraine

PARIS (Reuters) - France on Monday denounced Russia’s decision to temporarily recognise passports issued by rebels in Ukraine, saying it was not in line with the spirit of the Minsk peace accord.

In a regular media briefing statement, France’s foreign ministry said: “France regrets this decision.”

It said Paris wanted Moscow to focus on using its influence over rebels in Ukraine to ensure application of the terms of a peace accord negotiated in Minsk, adding: “It is the only way of ensuring a lasting solution to the crisis in east Ukraine.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian authorities on Saturday to temporarily recognise civil registration documents issued in separatist-held areas of eastern Ukraine, a decision also strongly criticised by Ukraine’s president.

Reporting by Brian Love; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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