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Putin: we don't want to cause problems for new Ukraine president

Russian President Vladimir Putin walks before a meeting with lawmakers in Saint Petersburg, Russia April 24, 2019. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday it was unacceptable that residents of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions had no rights, but he said Moscow did not want to create problems for the new Ukrainian leadership.

Putin earlier signed an order easing the procedure for obtaining a Russian passport for residents of the separatist-controlled Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Kiev condemned the move.

“We don’t have any desire to create problems for the new Ukrainian leadership,” Putin said, explaining the passport move.

Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; Writing by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Christian Lowe