(QHA) -

Around 1.5 million people living in Crimea have already been given Russian passports, a spokesman for Russia's Federal Migration Service told Interfax on Thursday, July 24.

Passports are given by Russia's Federal Migration Service and are available on the territory of Crimea and Russian Federation only.

Crimea was annexed by Russia in March, following Crimean referendum on peninsula’s status. Crimea residents were pushed to become Russian citizens, taking appealing for Russian passports. However, there are those in Crimea who preferred to remain citizens of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s state postal service enterprise Ukrposhta has started sending pensions to the peninsula. The Ukrainian government has offered residents of Crimea pension payments if they opt out of Russia’s benefit payment system.