President Vladimir Putin said the suggestion by Ukraine's president-elect to give Ukrainian citizenship to Russians "suffering from an authoritarian regime" is "a good thing," which would only bring the kindred nations closer.
The Russian president and his soon-to-be Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky have been engaged in a sort of media duel after Russia last week offered a fast track to Russian citizenship to Ukrainians living in self-proclaimed republics in eastern Ukraine. Moscow said the move was a humanitarian one and necessitated by Kiev's failure to reconcile with its own citizens living in the east. But officials in Ukraine, including the president-elect, called it an act of aggression.
Amid the uproar from Kiev, Putin last Saturday suggested that the same simplified procedure may be extended to all Ukrainian citizens. Zelensky responded with a scolding Facebook post, in which he mocked the idea that a holder of a Ukrainian passport might be tempted with the Russian one.