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Ukraine’s parliament legalizes foreign mercenaries in country

October 06, 2015, 12:31 UTC+3 KIEV
An explanatory note for the document says the goal is to "increase the Armed Forces combat capability and reduce Ukraine’s human and financial losses resulting from combat actions in eastern Ukraine"
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Military exercises in Ukraine (archive)

Military exercises in Ukraine (archive)

© AP Photo/Pavlo Palamarchuk

KIEV, October 6. /TASS/. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, adopted in the second reading on Tuesday a draft law on foreigners serving in Ukraine’s Armed Forces.

A total of 229 MPs supported the decision, above the required minimum of 226 votes.

An explanatory note for the document says the goal is to "increase the Armed Forces combat capability and reduce Ukraine’s human and financial losses resulting from combat actions in eastern Ukraine."

Ukrainian lawmakers expressed confidence that after foreigners receive a legal possibility to serve in the country’s army, the country will get experienced and motivated units of up to 1,000 people.

Ukraine will be able to reduce the need to mobilize Ukrainian citizens and to cut the expenses for social benefits to the participants of the combat actions, handicapped people and families of victims.

Earlier in the day, Ukrainian MPs adopted in the first reading a draft law easing procedures to gain the country’s citizenship for foreigners serving in the Ukrainian army.

Two simplified procedures for granting the Ukrainian citizenship have been proposed. The first procedure envisages that the foreigners will need to live three years in Ukraine instead of five years. Under the second procedure, foreign mercenaries, who received awards of the Ukrainian state, will not have to speak the Ukrainian language or confirm means of subsistence or permission for immigration.

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