DONETSK, October 18 (RIA Novosti) - The self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic will soon begin issuing its own passports, DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko said Saturday.
"We will assign a new Minister of Justice, issue our own passports, like we already issue certificates of marriage and birth," Zakharchenko said at a meeting with voters in the city of Novoazovsk.
He advised, however, that the residents of the region should not get rid of their Ukrainian passports yet.
The minister also stated that educational institutions in Donetsk may begin issuing Russian-style diplomas.
"Almost all universities are operating in Donetsk… We are negotiating for [students] to receive Russian-type diplomas," he said.
Residents of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions declared independence following a February coup, refusing to recognize the new Kiev authorities. The republics declared their sovereignty based on the results of referendums held in May.
The Ukrainian parliament approved a law on self-administration in parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions on September 16. The law stipulates that local elections are to take place in the areas on December 7 and also guarantees people the right to use Russian or any other language. The leaders of the self-proclaimed republics have stressed that they want full independence from Ukraine and have set regional elections for November 2.