On 6 July 2023, the President of the Russian Federation signed Decree No. 495 “On some issues related to the peculiarities of the legal status of citizens of the Russian Federation who hold Ukrainian citizenship.” It provides for the verification of Ukrainian citizens illegally passportised with Russian passport documents. This “legislative act” is another violation of the legal rights of Ukrainians who, as a result of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation, were forced to stay in the temporarily occupied territories or were forcibly displaced to the territory of the aggressor state.
“In its essence, it is another repressive step of the Russian authorities to search for ‘unreliable’ Ukrainian citizens who, in violation of Ukrainian legislation and international law, were illegally passportised with identification documents of the aggressor state. Such actions of the authorities of the Russian Federation are null and void from a legal point of view and do not carry any legal consequences. Instead, they resemble an attempt to create artificial legal bases for intimidation and other means of pressure on them,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine said.
The diplomats added that any documents issued in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine are null and void and have no legal force. Forced passportisation of residents of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine with Russian documents is illegal and does not constitute grounds for loss of Ukrainian citizenship.
“Ukrainian citizens who live in temporarily occupied territories or were forcibly displaced to the territory of the Russian Federation under the trumped-up pretext of so-called ‘humanitarian protection’ will continue to retain Ukrainian citizenship despite any ‘innovations’ of Russian legislation in this area,” the MFA noted.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs once again emphasises that all holders of Ukrainian passports who have not undergone the procedure for withdrawing from citizenship provided for by Ukrainian legislation remain citizens of Ukraine and can rely on the protection of their rights by the Ukrainian state.
We call on the international community to condemn such actions of the Russian Federation and to refrain from recognising any documents issued by the aggressor state in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.