Putin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov has explained the recent move to recognize the passports of the residents of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
According to Peskov, Putin signed the decree on the basis of humanitarian considerations.
"In this situation, only for humanitarian reasons, the Russian president signed the decree," RIA Novosti quoted Peskov as saying.
He also noted that the decree did not contradict to the norms of international law. Earlier, representatives of the US Embassy in Kiev said that Russia's recognition of passports of the residents of the two breakaway republics came contrary to objectives of the Minsk agreements on the settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Meanwhile, a recent poll showed that most Russians do not consider the People's Republic of Donetsk and the People's Republic of Luhansk a part of Ukraine. As many as 24 percent of the polled said that one should recognize the two republics as independent territories.
Vladimir Putin signed the decree on the recognition of passports of citizens of the People's Republic of Donetsk and the People's Republic of Luhansk on February 18. The move was made to help the residents of the republics, because people have not been able to receive any type of documents from Ukrainian agencies.
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