A bill proposed by the parliament of Ukraine would allow both Ukrainian citizens and foreign nationals to obtain dual citizenship. However, does the bill stand a chance a passing?
Authored by non-factional MP Lev Mirimski, the proposed bill would allow Ukrainian men and women to become citizens of another country without renouncing their Ukrainian citizenship. Residents from other countries could also become Ukrainian citizens without renouncing their home country. As it stands now, dual citizenship is a crime.
Though Mirimski argues dual citizenship would prevent Ukraine from losing citizens and boost banking and investments within the nation, the proposed bill has many critics. Some argue dual citizenship would threaten Ukraine’s security.
“Currently, it is not a matter of legal regulation of relations, it is a threat to national security,” said Andriy Parybiy of the Batkivshchyna faction. “Russia is now handing around its passports...Don't forget what's going on in the border areas with Romania, Hungary, when other states use dual citizenship as a tool for expansion. One of the reasons for the outbreak of hostilities in Georgia was a thesis of the so-called protection of citizens at risk.”
However, Mykhailo Pohrebynski, director of Kyiv center for political research and conflict resolution studies, dismisses such concerns.
“I support the idea to permit dual citizenship,” he said. “It is an opportunity to travel around. There may be a conflict in case of war, when a Ukrainian with dual nationality may take another side. But it is not like we are going to be at war any time soon, are we?
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara, on the other hand, opposes dual citizenship simply because it violates the current interpretation of the law.
"The law on citizenship is based on the principle of the non-recognition of dual citizenship,” the minister said in a press conference. “Ukraine does not prohibit dual citizenship, but it does not recognize it.”
Though it seems unlikely Ukraine will allow dual citizenship anytime soon, the issue is part of the national debate and may gain additional support in the future.