Russian president accepts passports issued by east Ukraine rebels
Feb.19, Moscow: President Vladimir Putin has announced that Russia is temporarily recognising passports and other identity documents issued by the self-proclaimed rebel republics in eastern Ukraine, reports said.
Clashes between pro-Russian rebels and the Ukrainian army flared up again in recent weeks, leaving many dead.
Ukraine's President, Petro Poroshenko, condemned the decision to recognise separatist passports. But Russia's foreign minister said it was a humanitarian decision.
Sergei Lavrov also announced that heavy military hardware would be withdrawn from the region, and said a ceasefire would come into force on Monday.
He is currently in Munich for a Nato conference. US Vice-President Mike Pence, also in Munich, said the US would "continue to hold Russia accountable" and would demand that Russia honour the 2015 ceasefire deal signed in Minsk, one of the provisions of which is the removal of heavy weapons.
The Oslo Times International News Network