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Ukraine backs dual citizenship except with Russia — vice PM

Currently in Ukraine a direct ban on dual citizenship is applied to public officials

KIEV, September 27. /TASS/. The dual citizenship policy meets the interests of Ukraine, excluding the dual citizenship with Russia, Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Dmitry Kuleba said in an interview with the European Pravda newspaper published on Friday.

"Dual citizenship is an objective need now and meets the Ukrainian interests, excluding recognizing dual citizenship with Russia," he pointed out clarifying that it is not the position of the entire government, but his own.

Kuleba’s statement that came to be practically the first official statement of the new authorities on the issue of dual citizenship perfectly echoes the position of the previous authorities.

Earlier, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky made a number of statements on granting Ukrainian citizenship to nationals of other states, however, they were phrased differently. Immediately after he won the presidential election, Zelensky said that Ukraine will "grant Ukrainian citizenship to representatives of all nations suffering from authoritarian and corrupt regimes, primarily Russians, who today suffer the most." This idea was then harshly criticized by Pyotr Poroshenko, then incumbent president. He said that he refused "to understand that anyone would grant the sacred Ukrainian citizenship to Russians." In July, Zelensky instructed the Foreign Ministry to devise a mechanism of issuing Ukrainian citizenship as a second one for ethnic Ukrainians "from friendly countries looking to join the development of their historic native land."

Currently, the Ukrainian legislation does not recognize foreign citizenships that Ukrainians hold, while voluntarily receiving a citizenship of another country is seen as grounds to strip a person of the Ukrainian passport. At the same time, the direct ban on dual citizenship is only applied to public officials. In reality, many ethnic minority representatives have been eagerly accepting passports of other countries in the past few years. Many Ukrainians obtained Russian citizenship, in particular.