Germany on Wednesday dismissed as "propaganda" a Russian decree that simplifies rules for Ukrainians to obtain Russian passports.

Russia has said that residents of areas of southern and eastern Ukraine occupied since February's invasion are entitled to become Russian citizens, a move that Ukraine and Western countries say confirms that Moscow plans to retain control of those regions.

The German spokesperson said that "it's part of Russian propaganda. Ukraine is a sovereign, independent state. No other state can give Ukrainian citizens any kind of passport."

(Reporting by Matthias Williams, Editing by Miranda Murray)