President Zelensky makes it easier for Russians to obtain Ukrainian citizenship

Ukrainian President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky has signed a decree that simplifies the procedure for obtaining Ukrainian citizenship.

According to the document published on the website of the President of Ukraine on August 13, Russian citizens who have been subjected to "persecution on political grounds" are eligible to apply for Ukrainian citizenship. In addition, foreign nationals and stateless persons who contributed to the national security and protection of Ukraine will be able to apply for Ukrainian passport.

On July 18, Zelensky requested that Ukrainian government develops a mechanism for granting Ukrainian citizenship for ethnic Ukrainians from “friendly countries”, as well as for those who were victims of violations of human rights and freedoms in their countries.

Zelensky’s decree came after Russian President Vladimir Putin once again expanded the categories of Ukrainian citizens who can use a simplified procedure to apply for Russian citizenship. Putin’s decree now includes all residents of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. Previously, according to the decree of April 24, only resident of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics could obtain a Russian passport under the simplified procedure.

On April 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree which allows residents of the territories of eastern Ukraine which are not under Kyiv’s control, as well as residents of the annexed Crimea, to obtain Russian passport using a simplified procedure. Ukraine and its Western allies sharply criticized the decree.

On April 27 in Beijing, Putin declared that the Kremlin was considering whether or not to simplify the procedure for all Ukrainians to apply for Russian passports. On May 1, he signed a decree simplifying the procedure for Ukrainians born and living in Crimea so that they could receive passports in the next three months.

The Verkhovna Rada appealed to a number of international organizations, as well as to the countries in the European Union, the USA, and the diplomatic missions of foreign states in Ukraine to strengthen sanctions against Russia in response to Moscow’s decision.

The administration of Ukrainian President-elect Vladimir Zelensky stated on Facebook that the decree on the issue of Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens is “Russia’s admission that it is an occupying power [in the Donbas and Ukraine]”.

  Russia, Ukraine, Zelensky