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Iran Press TV

Ukraine sets passport regime for volatile east

Iran Press TV

Thu Nov 6, 2014 12:44PM GMT

Ukraine has imposed passport controls around volatile pro-Russia areas in the country's east.

The rule, announced by the border guards service on Thursday, stipulates that all people crossing in or out of eastern Ukraine, also known as Donbass, show their passports at checkpoints there.

"Ukrainian citizens will be allowed to travel in and out of the area on condition of showing passports," the border guards service said in a statement.

The Ukrainian government did not specify the exact outlines of the area but they are apparently introducing the measure to seal off the unrecognized republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, which are not controlled by Kiev. The move will establish de facto internal borders inside Ukraine.

This was the second major announcement in two days on the central government's strategy of cutting the flashpoint area off the rest of the country.

On Wednesday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said social payments would be suspended to the pro-Russian controlled areas.

Ukraine's mainly Russian-speaking parts in the east have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Russia forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations to silence pro-Russians in mid-April.

Tensions further increased after Donetsk and Lugansk regions held leadership elections on November 2, despite condemnation from Kiev and the West that such a move would undermine peace efforts in Ukraine.

Kiev and the pro-Russian forces inked a truce pact in September in a move to put an end to heavy clashes. Fighting, however, continues in eastern cities despite the ceasefire deal.


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