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Tue, 10 Dec 2019 02:13 GMT

Russian Political Refugees to be Granted Ukrainian Citizenship


7Dnews London

Tue, 13 Aug 2019 15:27 GMT

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Tuesday August 13th signed a decree ordering the government to simplify the measures of granting Ukrainian citizenship for Russians persecuted for political reasons, according to Reuters.

Zelenskiy had announced such a move last month in response to a Russian decree expanding the number of Ukrainians who can apply for fast-track Russian passports.

A decree was issued on Tuesday ordering the cabinet to write a law "easing the process of obtaining Ukrainian citizenship by Russian citizens who have been persecuted for their political views", according to a statement on the presidential website.

The decree would also apply to non-Ukrainians serving in the Ukrainian military as subject to the eased naturalisation process under the new law and ordered another law that would "optimise" the asylum process for citizens of the Russian Federation.

It is now up to the government and parliament to legislate for the proposal to take effect.

Zelensky had pledged to grant citizenship to Russians who "suffer" under the Kremlin's rule after he was elected as president in April.

"We know perfectly well what a Russian passport provides," he said at the time, listing "the right to be arrested for a peaceful protest" and "the right not to have free and competitive elections".