High-profile events associated with the transport blockade of Donbass, which somewhat reduced the attention to the new initiative of the President, but quite outside of the information fields she left. Too serious change with considerable consequences suggested on Bank.
So, on Monday, March 13, Petro Poroshenko has submitted to Parliament draft amendments to the legislation to combat dual citizenship.
Unprecedented speed on Tuesday, even before the document was relevant committees and experts of BP, the project was included in the agenda, it was voted 234 deputies. And in the evening we received another confirmation that the Bank will try as soon as possible to pass a law through Parliament: at the disposal of “Ukrainian truth” hit “topic” up for people’s deputies from block Poroshenko.
This document explains how the people’s representatives must defend the position of his party leader and to prove the usefulness of his initiative.
Here only in practice it is much more complicated.
Worth at least to understand the risks of presidential initiative.
- A complete ban on dual citizenship in the Ukraine: now dual citizenship explicitly allowed in some cases.
- The presidential draft also does not prohibit, but imposes a penalty for dual citizenship. That’s just to apply it will be possible only selectively.
- It is easier to avoid punishment for those who have a Russian passport — so beautiful words about national security will remain only slogans. The main impact on the holders of citizenship of the EU countries.
- Hundreds of thousands of residents of Western Ukraine will suddenly turn into trespassers; in some areas, their share will be close to 90%.
- And at Poroshenko offer to deprive of the Ukrainian citizenship of all young Crimeans — even those who consider themselves Ukrainians.
- Moreover, the presidency managed to submit a draft law that violates international obligations of Ukraine.
Add: the very idea of deprivation of citizenship of holders of two passports is not prohibited. Ukraine has the right to do the same, as do several EU countries. But how and against whom to apply this rule — a question uneasy.
And it is unlikely he should be dealt with instant vote for a presidential initiative.
Hereinafter in more detail.
The myth of dual citizenship
“Written in the Constitution that prohibited dual citizenship. And triple — is not prohibited.” This statement is one of the “hits” oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, who in 2014, admitted that he has passports of three countries — Ukraine, Israel and Cyprus.
The vast majority statement takes literally Kolomoisky — at least its first part, that “dual citizenship is prohibited by the Constitution.”
In fact it is not.
Moreover, Ukraine is now directly allowed dual citizenship in some cases — temporary and permanent.
And the opinion about its “illegality” should stay separate.
“In Ukraine there is single citizenship,” reads article 4 of the Constitution of Ukraine, adding that more questions of citizenship are described in a separate law. These five words became the Foundation for the myth about the prohibition of dual citizenship. They say, “one” is the antonym of the word “double”.
To refute this view, it is enough to open the law “On citizenship,” which refers to the Constitution. There is a definition of the term: single citizenship excludes the possibility of existence of citizenship of administrative-territorial units of Ukraine. If a citizen of Ukraine acquired citizenship (nationality) of another state or States, then in legal relations with Ukraine he is recognized only by the citizen of Ukraine. If a foreigner has acquired the citizenship of Ukraine, then in legal relations with Ukraine he is recognized only by the citizen of Ukraine.
Consequently, a single citizenship does not indicate banning dual: it only means that there are no citizens of Crimea, Lviv and Kiev.
Moreover, the article expressly provides that a citizen of Ukraine can have citizenship of other States.
So what then is it?
Five ways a fair selection of passports
Despite what is written above, permission for dual citizenship is not absolute.
Yes, in Ukraine there is no ban it outright, but a certain prohibition still exists.
Under current law, “the grounds for loss of citizenship of Ukraine is… voluntary acquisition of citizen of Ukraine of citizenship of another state, if at the time of such attainment he had reached the age of majority”. The term “voluntary” means that the citizen himself applied for a passport.
From this rule the law provides a number of exceptions — for example, if our citizen (ka) married a foreigner(-TSEM), or for those who have a right to a foreign citizenship from birth.
At the same time, this norm is declarative. The mechanism of deprivation of citizenship the state is not available. The project Poroshenko adds them to the law.
The bill, if approved, gives the President grounds to recognize the citizen of Ukraine voluntarily lost their citizenship, if he has got the passport of another country. And to find such people, the ways of verification.
The state plans to seek out those who:
- took part in elections or other voting as a citizen of another state;
- “have used other right” of a citizen of a foreign state;
- “performed duties” of a citizen of a foreign country (any!);
- used a different passport to get to Ukraine;
- used a different passport to leave Ukraine.
Search for “violators” Poroshenko plans through requests to the authorities of foreign States and their public registers, “on official websites or in official printed editions” or passport, which will see the human guards.
Will punish those who recently received the Ukrainian passport and handed in the passport of another country — they are subject to exactly the same standards.
According to the logic of the AP, all found violators will be automatically deprived of citizenship — it does not matter whether the person is a citizen of Ukraine by birth, or was it only a year ago. That sounds hard. But if you go to the specifics, the question arises — how did official Kyiv finds that a person has another passport? Of course, besides the obvious option when the Ukrainian he gives two passports during the passport control and admits: “I am violator”.
In fact, many rules in the draft Bankova utopian.
It is impossible to find “on the websites of bodies of state power” or “the media” is evidence that man can have two passports. Even if you receive a conditional decree of the President of Hungary that Peter Petrov became a citizen of this country, it will not contain Ukrainian passport or other references to what is Peter Petrov got the same status.
There are two ways.
The first is to conduct a search at the border, finding a passport of another country with stamps, and all is done, submit the documentation to the migration service.
The second way is to send requests to foreign authorities in cases when the Ukrainian intelligence services have information about the nationality of a particular person. In particular, because the NAB received information about the British passport of a citizen of the Roman Nasirov.
But there is one important detail.
In practice, this means that we will be able to revoke the citizenship of those who have Romanian or a British passport, but the Ukrainians-owners of the Russian passports… will be able to avoid punishment.
And this is no joke, but a harsh reality.
A key principle of the law — and the current, and with a presidential change is “voluntary”. That is, to punish those “dual citizens” who have received the passport intentionally, not those who became “double” against their will. For example, a child whose parents are citizens of two different States, typically gets dual citizenship from birth.
But of course the AP was not thinking about these rather rare cases. The key issue is the Crimea. Its inhabitants are known to have declared “Russians” without permission — just put before the fact. After the annexation didn’t need to write any statement to obtain citizenship. For Ukraine, of course, it is important not to lose the Crimean people who still consider themselves Ukrainians — which is why the norm of “voluntariness gaining a second citizenship” will in all possible bills.
But this rule is also a side effect.
The vast majority of cases, the Russians will not be able to take a Ukrainian passport.
“The main issue was whether the acquisition of citizenship is voluntary or not voluntary. This information about voluntary can get Ukraine exclusively from Russia, in response to an official request. And Russia is such information fundamentally does not.
Thus, in practice, impossible to apply this law to the dual citizens of Russia and Ukraine”, — said in the comments of EP the lawyer Olga Fight, candidate of legal Sciences, dealing with passport issues.
Even if there is a “dual citizen” is Ukrainophobia, carrying posters of Putin and lives in Kharkov, he can easily choose a convenient basis, in order to avoid punishment or to appeal it in court, if the decree on deprivation of citizenship is yet to be signed.
For example, you can say that in the beginning of 2014, temporarily lived in the Crimea at the hotel, checked in there and was “certified” with the others. And those who are older, can choose the starting point of 1991 and to say that greeted the collapse of the Soviet Union in Russia and also got “under one comb”. You can find other “legends”.
But most importantly, the offender must prove it, and the state must prove the “voluntariness” of obtaining a second citizenship.
These are the rules of administrative procedure.
But Ukrainians, having the citizenship of Romania or Hungary, there’s no way. Kiev are likely to get from those States response to your request, and “lived among States in 1991” doesn’t work, when it comes to countries outside the former USSR.
In search of the rebellion
We not for nothing is it mentioned Romania and Hungary. Ukrainians with citizenship of these countries — the biggest “risk group”.
The presidential bill has primarily in two areas of Ukraine — Chernivtsi and Transcarpathian. The first residents often have Romanian citizenship. The second Romanian or Hungarian. And it is not an exceptional case, because both the neighbouring countries offer a simplified procedure for obtaining citizenship.
In Beregovo district of Transcarpathia, the proportion of adult Ukrainians have a passport of Hungary not far from 100%. In General, the number of Ukrainians who received a Hungarian passport in recent years has exceeded 100 thousand — these are the official data of the Hungarian authorities.
Romania does not disclose detailed data about Ukrainians, who became its citizens, but the expert estimates range between 50 and 100 thousands. Only in Ukraine about 150 thousand citizens who call themselves Romanians, and the Romanian language is her first language.
Another figure: 92% of the population Hertsa district of Bukovina declared at the time of the 2001 census that their native language — Romanian.
There is no doubt that almost all of them have already obtained Romanian passports under the simplified procedure.
And, characteristically, these people don’t emigrate to a neighboring state. But in Bukovina everyone will tell you that the Romanian passport is first and foremost the right to work and travel freely in the EU, therefore, reject it makes no sense.
All this, of course, is not a reason for pride for our country — quite the contrary. But should I now put the question bluntly? Are we ready for that day, not only separate villages, but entire areas will be 100% populated by those who are already deprived of citizenship, or those we should soon deny it? Indeed, many ethnic Romanians do not want to renounce the Romanian citizenship.
“Thus, we remain of the village of foreigners. And here further there is no automatism regarding their legal status in Ukraine — they even have a residence permit will not be, — reminds Olga Fight. We need to be prepared for the fact that it would mean a riot at the local level.”
We repeat: this decision by the state to be fully legitimate. The state has the right to revoke the citizenship of “dual nationals” — people with two passports. But the question to Bankova: are we ready for the consequences, whether they thought at least two steps ahead? Based on haste, which is moving to “passport” the bill; on the basis that public debate was absent, and the modeling of consequences for Bukovina and Transcarpathia, no one thought to hold, there is reasonable doubt.
Two are quite small, but painful for Ukraine now. Presidential lawyers in the project managed to violate Ukraine’s obligations under the European Convention on nationality. According to this document we should not punish those who received citizenship by birth or through marriage with a foreigner. About these exceptions on Bank forgot.
And the second point, in the Crimea. Young Crimeans who turned 16 years old and have decided to get a Ukrainian passport, to live in the Crimea as dual citizens, there is no such privilege under them, the rule does not contemplate.
This, of course, the little things that can be used to fix the second reading, but they clearly characterize the negligence with which Poroshenko reacted to the passport question.
The changes where they are not needed
And in the end it is necessary to quote from the explanatory note to the bill. A statement from Poroshenko explains: “the Stay of citizens of Ukraine and citizens of a foreign state, in particular those that are on public service, creates certain risks for national security of Ukraine”.
Will have to remind the lawyers of the presidential administration capital legislation.
The law on civil service already prohibits employment of Ukrainians who have a second nationality (article 19). If you are already working civil servant will receive a passport of another country, it is also a means for his immediate dismissal (article 84.) With judges, this rule settled even higher at the level of the Constitution. If there was a desire to introduce this provision for local government to change something is a law, not a law “On citizenship”.
So, “objective”, declared the presidential administration, is achieved without this law, without the negative consequences that derive from it.
Of course, it is possible that it is different for lawyers Bankova everyone understands this perfectly, and Poroshenko was a different goal — not to make law, but only to blackmail the coalition partners. But was it worth it to go this way?
The question is rhetorical.