KIEV, December 7. /TASS/. Many people living in Donbass may be stripped of Ukrainian citizenship if President Vladimir Zelensky’s proposals on amending the country’s legislation on citizenship are passed into law, which will inevitably impact the results of elections in this region, Ruslan Bortnik, director of the Ukrainian Institute of Politics, told TASS on Tuesday.
"When the new package of laws, initiated by the president, on citizenship is adopted, many people in Donbass will be deprived of the possibility to obtain Ukrainian citizenship, since it is quite easy to accuse them of acting against Kiev’s national interests at various levels, from the military and managers to government employees," he said, adding that citizenship-related issues will be tackled "on an individual basis upon the consent of special services," especially on the cases of "civil activists and media representatives."
These amendments, in his words, will impact the electoral process, not merely in terms of the number of voters, but rather "on who will be able to be elected in Donbass."
On December 2, Zelensky initiated five bills on the procedure of granting and depriving individuals of Ukrainian citizenship. One of them lists the reasons why an individual cannot be granted Ukrainian citizenship under the principle of territorial origin. Along with crimes against humanity or a criminal record in Ukraine for committing serious crimes, they include "actions threatening Ukraine’s national security and national interests."
Apart from that, the bill provides for the deprivation of citizenship for Ukrainian nationals, who hold foreign passports and use them to impair Ukraine’s national security and national interests. It is also suggested that citizenship be stripped from those who undertook contracted military service in a state recognized by the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s parliament) as an "aggressor state.".