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Citizenship – Passports to the EU and beyond

October 5, 2018

After some consideration, the blog has decided to comment upon the sensitive issue of citizenship – for there are tens of thousands of Ukrainian citizens with dual (and often more) citizenship despite what the Constitution of Ukraine may state.

Article 4.  There is unique citizenship in Ukraine.  The grounds for acquisition and stopping of citizenship is determined by law.”

Whatever those subordinate laws may state and provide by way of ambiguity and elasticity, they are entirely subservient to the Constitution per Article 8, paragraph 2 “Constitution of Ukraine has the greatest legal force.  Acts and other legal normative acts are passed on the basis of the Constitution of Ukraine and must answer to it.”

Nevertheless, there are tens of thousands of Ukrainian citizens holding another citizenship – through grandfather rights, marriage, or simply by purchasing them.

It is a two way street, for there are foreigners that belatedly obtain Ukrainian citizenship without surrendering the citizenship under which they were born in life’s ovarian lottery, and there are Ukrainians who belatedly obtain a second citizenship via many lawful routes in the nations granting that citizenship – even if it is an illegal act in Ukraine.

The blog is aware of Ukrainian citizens holding 2, 3 and in one case 4 citizenships and passports.

To be blunt if any law is not going to be enforced (consistently/systematically or otherwise) then that specific law loses all meaning in society.  It will be forever ignored – and such is the fate of the Constitution relating to than ban on dual (or more) citizenship.

The Ukrainian state since independence and the adoption of the Constitution has tolerated societal disregard for this particular constitutional diktat.

Certain nations such as Russia and Hungary have actively sought to distribute their passports in Ukraine to Ukrainian citizens.  Only occasionally over the past 25 years or so has the Ukrainian state made half-hearted irked noises relating to these 2 nations in particular and their activities.

The 4th October 2018 expulsion/persona non grata of a Hungarian diplomat from the Berehove Consulate for the subversive issuing of Hungarian passports in Ukraine, followed by the inevitable reciprocity by Hungary and the persona non grata of Ukrainian diplomat Dmitry Kerecanin from Hungary on Friday 5th October being a recent case in point – and adds to an increasingly growing list of differences between the two countries.

Other nations are somewhat more discrete – Israel, Romania, Bulgaria and so on – when it comes to “their” Ukrainian diaspora.

Either way, these nations are doing nothing illegal insofar as their domestic legislation is concerned, albeit ignoring the fundamental law of Ukraine.

As a point of politeness and diplomatic good manners therefore, it is a matter of the aggressive nature of providing their diaspora with citizenship within the territory of Ukraine that irks Kyiv in the current political, social and economic climate.

Kyiv can claim (if unconvincingly) to be unaware of what goes on within the territories of these nations should Ukrainian citizens visit and return with dual (or more) nationality – regardless of the Ukrainian Constitution.

However, there are of course criminal ways to obtain citizenship of one of the aforementioned (and other) nations and yet receive genuine citizenship and passports – sometimes without the bureaucrats within those nations being aware, or indeed the diplomats of those nations working within Ukraine.

There are far cleverer ways to accomplish the obtaining of an EU passport than simply dropping a large wad of cash on a corrupt diplomat’s desk – and indeed cheaper ways – to get genuinely legitimate documents through nefarious means.

To identify one such process, and one which the blog knows has worked on almost a dozen occasions (probably far, far more unknown to the blog via the same route) an example will be made of Romania – and where no senior or even mid-level Romanians are actually to be faulted.  (Romania may be aggressive with its citizenship in Moldova, but it is not in Ukraine.)

Indeed the process has even been employed by nefarious Russian citizens flying here but otherwise living, and doing dodgy property deals, in southeast Asia.

The scheme works via grandfather/grandmother rights – and its manipulation.

The Soviet Union, its purges, World War II, and the  subsequent collapse of that cancerous system witnessed the loss, destruction and falsification of a massive amount of documents – making finding those documents almost impossible for some.

There is a choice of simply now faking them if they no exist, or creating them where they never existed, with the assistance of archivists for literally a few Euro – or forgetting the endeavors of dual citizenship.

In Ukraine there are such archivists and forgers who will “find your grandmother” for certain small Romanian Consulates in Ukraine – who will then send the nefarious applicant to the Interior Ministry outposts in Romania with their blessing (and a Consulate issued Visa when they were required).

Once those documents supporting a claim to Romanian citizenship are checked and copied by an Interior Ministry outpost and a formal receipt given, the would-be Romanian citizen, with forged documents, returns to Ukraine while the Romanian bureaucracy goes through its (very slow) motions.

The original forged documents are then returned to the forger for safe keeping (subsequently reissued on the day of swearing citizenship in case they are requested, and after obtaining the citizenship certificate, once again confiscated ne’er to be seen again).

6 to 9 months later the would-be Romanian citizen finds their name on an electronic list of appointments to attend Bucharest and swear their citizenship approximately 1 year after their initial application (based on fake grandfather/mother documentation).

Upon swearing their citizenship, they are issued a certificate of citizenship at the ceremony (which acts as a temporary passport to (and only to) Romania.

Based upon the certificate of citizenship, applications for Romanian birth certificates, marriage certificates and then lastly passports (after all supporting documents for a passport have been issued by Romania) are carried out – and the documents duly received either by going to Romania to collect them, or via collection at the closest Romanian consulate (who are none the wiser to the original fraud upon which an entire folder of genuine Romanian documents are now based).

The average cost for the initial “grandfather rights” forgeries was Euro 2000 throughout 2016 and 2017.  No substantial uplift in 2018 either.  Thereafter additional costs are simply the standard Romanian costs of bureaucracy for any and all additional documents that follow the granting of citizenship.

Naturally this raises security issues for the EU too – particularly when nefarious Russians are flying in from southeast Asia to participate in this Ukrainian run scheme.

It is a well trodden path.  As stated already, the blog knows personally many that have successfully walked this path – and the facilitators of the scheme.

Undoubtedly there is a similar path for Bulgaria with similar facilitators (though any individuals involved are unknown to the blog in the case of Bulgaria).  Unquestionably it is not a scheme subject to intellectual property rights within the criminal class.

All of which leaves Ukraine with choices to be made regarding its citizens – whether they obtain dual (or more) citizenship via legitimate or criminal means.

Does it actually decide to systematically and consistently apply the codex within the Constitution and subsequently prosecute/take proscribed actions against those with dual (or more) nationalities?

If not, then it will continue to be ignored.

Therefore, should Ukraine continue to ignore it, yet remain selectively choosing to enforce it – with all sorts of unknown repercussions both home and abroad generally associated with “selective application”?  There is also the reaction of the most nationalist-leaning radical of elements within Ukraine to consider if a tacitly blind eye continues to be turned.

Should Ukraine amend the Constitution and allow dual citizenship, instantly legitimising tens of thousands of Ukrainians who currently hold dual (or more) citizenship?

If so, how would that affect national security, economics, politics and the electorate – both positively and negatively?

How many Russians would also swiftly become Ukrainians?  How many from the US, Canada, Australia etc would also take up Ukrainian grandfather rights?

How would they vote and what would the consequences be?  To be blunt some of the diaspora are bordering on swivel-eyed loons, while others would be solid citizens, and yet others pose a real threat.

In allowing dual (or more) citizenship, would that affect/provide cause for reconsideration of any existing and/or potential Visa-free arrangements/agreements?  The Ukrainian diaspora counts in many millions with some also being citizens of nations deemed hostile not necessarily by Ukraine after all.

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