The National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine (NSDC) has instructed the Cabinet of Ministers to propose a bill within two months that would identify Ukrainians with dual citizenship, NSDC Secretary Oleksiy Danilov said following a NSDC meeting on Friday, 26 February.

The official stressed that Ukraine is moving towards a common tendency for many countries to have multiple citizenship, but at the same time it is necessary to take care of the interests of state security.

“There are certain challenges for our country due to the fact that, unfortunately, Russia used this tool when our [former] Head of the SBU, Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister of Defence, and Chief of the General Staff were citizens of the Russian Federation,” Danilov said.

According to him, everything should be done to prevent a recurrence of this situation in the future.

The NSDC Secretary added that this primarily concerns MPs, ministers, members of local and other councils, as well as persons working in local government bodies. In these cases, “we should know that a person is a citizen of Ukraine,” but not of other states. If such people have a different citizenship, they must notify and, before making a decision, renounce other citizenship and remain only citizens of Ukraine.

In addition, Danilov advised the incumbent MPs and officials who have multiple citizenship to get rid of other citizenship in the near future, “so as not to expose themselves to trouble.”

At the same time, the NSDC Secretary explained the state’s position on those people who were forcibly granted or obtain Russian citizenship in the occupied territories of Crimea and Donbas. Ukraine does not recognise such documents, perceiving them only as an opportunity for those people to continue living in the territories occupied by the Russian Federation, and, after the liberation of the territories, people will get rid of these “papers that are given to them there today.”

As a reminder, the current law on citizenship stipulates that citizens of Ukraine can only have Ukrainian citizenship. In practice, this norm is applied very selectively, and many Ukrainians actually have a different citizenship.

Recently, the issue of the need to legalise the possibility of multiple citizenship has been repeatedly raised at the highest level, while clearly defining the impossibility for Ukrainian citizens to simultaneously have the citizenship of a country recognised as an aggressor state.

Bohdan Marusyak

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