Zelenskyy on multiple citizenship: We can’t lose Ukrainians

December 20,2023 1232
Zelenskyy on multiple citizenship: We can’t lose Ukrainians

Multiple citizenship will become one of the mechanisms to maintain a connection with Ukraine for those Ukrainians who have fled abroad since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion and have already begun establishing their lives there, the Office of the President of Ukraine said.

“I was talking about multiple citizenship even before the start of the full-scale war – it was in our programme. I really think it’s normal, and I think there are actually 60 million Ukrainians worldwide,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at a year-end press conference on December 19.

The President of Ukraine added that multiple citizenship will also provide an opportunity for people abroad to help Ukraine. Zelenskyy urged Ukrainians abroad not to rush to renounce their Ukrainian citizenship, as multiple citizenship will help address this.

“Not all of them have to live in Ukraine. They have their origins and their families – some were born in Canada and the US. But we must give them the opportunity to support Ukraine, to feel that they are Ukrainians, to help, to open businesses here, pay taxes etc. All this will definitely benefit Ukraine,” added Zelenskyy.

At the same time, Ukrainian refugees will start returning home when there is stronger air defense, the President believes.

“We must protect all Ukrainian citizens. I think most people will come [back] as soon as the air defence is strengthened. A lot of people will come [back], I don’t know whether the majority will. It’s hard to say, because people have jobs there, their children are at school and so on. Another factor it will depend on is a reduction in the support that European countries provide for refugees,” Zelenskyy noted.

Furthermore, European countries may, over time, review and optimize their support programs for refugees.

“European countries, the USA will support our citizens in very difficult situations. But those who, for example, find employment will have a different level of support,” said Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Cover: Office of the President of Ukraine

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