12:00 03.02.2021

Draft laws on dual citizenship provide reintegration of Ukrainians with Russian passports

3 min read

KYIV. Feb 3 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Members of parliament (MPs) from the Servant of the People party intend to reintegrate Ukrainians with Russian passports from Donbas and Crimea, as well as Ukrainians working in Russia, in bills on dual citizenship.

"The main goal of our bill is to reintegrate our Ukrainians from the east and from Crimea, as well as our citizens who have Russian passports and understand the current situation in relations with the Russian Federation. They received these passports in different ways. Someone, like in Crimea, was forced to get a passport in order to work in Russia. There are estimated from 1 to 2 million of these people. We want to pull them out and give them the opportunity to 'declare' and live peacefully with these passports so that they are not persona non grata," MP Oleh Dunda (Servant of the People faction) said at a press conference at the Interfax-Ukraine news agency on Tuesday.

At the same time, he said, the bill will help "shed light on our political class and their foreign passports."

"One of those who used informally dual citizenship was our political class, who received passports of other countries and used them … as a tool where they hide money. And people did not know about this," he said.

He added the bill "will put a barrier to the aggressor country in gaining access to government posts."

Dunda also noted that the bill will eliminate many gaps in the legislative field of Ukraine, allowing civil servants to have citizenship of other countries.

"For some of our high-ranking officials, a ban has been established to have a passport of another state. But the same laws have not established anywhere that if they acquire foreign citizenship while working in the civil service, they are dismissed," the MP said.

As reported, on January 25, MPs from the Servant of the People faction registered three bills that would allow Ukrainians to have dual citizenship.

In bill No. 4640, the authors propose to amend the law on citizenship, which provides citizens of Ukraine with the right to obtain citizenship (allegiance) of a foreign state without losing the citizenship of Ukraine.

The proposed changes also allow foreigners to obtain Ukrainian citizenship without renouncing the citizenship of their country.

In addition, it is proposed to introduce a declaration of the presence (absence) of foreign citizenship (allegiance) and keeping records of Ukrainian citizens who have citizenship of other states.

The bill also proposes to provide for the submission of a declaration of absence of foreign citizenship by persons who apply for election to elective positions or to the civil service, to serve in local government bodies, to serve in law enforcement agencies.

The explanatory note to the draft law says that one of the important innovations is the introduction of the concept of "aggressor state."