Nevzorov effect: applicants for Ukrainian citizenship want to be driven through tests
– The procedure for obtaining Ukrainian citizenship, from my point of view, needs to be made more clear, strict, transparent and purely legal, so that there is less room for subjective decisions that cause conflict situations, – says head of the board of the Penta Center for Applied Political Research Vladimir Fesenko.– There are international standards: knowledge of the language is a must, knowledge of the law is also a must. In the United States, for example, knowledge of the history of the country's constitution is required. A score in points is too much, but there should be some kind of exam on the basics.
At the same time, the article “for special merits”, according to the political scientist, should be left, since such a norm is also in many countries of the world.
– But it is necessary to clearly state what these merits should be. The procedure itself must be exceptional and explicable. For example, Friedman – whether someone likes it or not – has every right to apply for Ukrainian citizenship, because he was born in Lvov. But Nevzorov never lived in Ukraine and does not live now. In his case, granting citizenship is a purely symbolic and erroneous decision.
Task for the SBU
Konstantin Bondarenko. Photo: facebook.com/bonkost
– We already have a rather complicated procedure for obtaining citizenship to make it even more difficult. A lot of bureaucratic delays. I know several people who applied for Ukrainian passports, they told me what circles of hell they went through. Now many states are simplifying the procedure for obtaining citizenship, Ukraine should also move along this path, believeshead of the Ukrainian Politics Foundation Konstantin Bondarenko. – We must proceed from a reasonable optimum, and not from political considerations: if you have Russian, then you cannot get it.
The author of the petition relies on the experience of the Baltic countries, where applicants for citizenship pass exams. Yes, knowledge of the language is checked there, in Estonia the Minister of Education personally does this. Additionally, knowledge of the constitution and citizenship law is required. In Latvia – understanding the main points of the history and culture of the country. In Lithuania – knowledge of the foundations of the constitution. Therefore, the model proposed by Vitaly Kapustyan with tests for UPE is too demanding.
– Against the background of what is happening now, quite sound ideas can be elevated to insanity. Such practices are possible, but politically it would be interesting to me if half of our far-right nationalists themselves would pass an exam in history, and then offer it to others, – says Professor of the Ukrainian-American Concordia University Serhiy Panasyuk.
Sergey Panasyuk. Photo: facebook.com/panasyuk.sergiy
The expert raises a reasonable question: what are the complications for?
– In order for a simple person who wants to become a citizen of Ukraine to go crazy? Or to prevent possible traitors? Then let's consider the draft law so that all applicants for Ukrainian citizenship are checked by the SBU. Now such checks are optional, let them be mandatory,” Serhiy Panasyuk suggests an alternative.
And he proceeds from the following: if out of one hundred percent of foreigners who want to become Ukrainians, two percent turn out to be traitors, then why complicate life for everyone else.
From June 8, signatures are being collected for a petition to allow Russians and Belarusians to declaratively renounce their citizenship upon transition to Ukrainian. Now only foreigners who serve in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, are official refugees or politically persecuted persons enjoy this right.
“Correction of this injustice is especially critical against the background of the cynical granting of Ukrainian citizenship to Alexander Nevzorov, a former deputy of the Russian Duma, by direct decree president, when many Ukrainian families and candidates have been waiting for decisions on their applications for years,” writes Vitaliy Vlasyuk, the author of the petition.