Ukrainian parliament approves legislation granting Poles special status in the country

The Ukrainian parliament has accepted the Ukrainian president’s legislative proposal to award Poles special status in Ukraine allowing citizens of Poland to stay for 18 months, the right to work, trade, and to have access to education and health services

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
Image released by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the screen during a session at Ukraine's parliament, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 3, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s legislative draft to grant Polish citizens special rights in Ukraine has been accepted at first reading by 321 deputies of the Ukrainian parliament.

Zelensky had introduced the bill on July 11, which hands Poles legal and social rights not readily available to other prospective immigrants.

The measure adopted by the Ukrainian parliament is an expression of appreciation for the solidarity and support given by Poles to Ukraine following the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

The legislation is in essence a reciprocal measure in answer to Poland’s legislation introduced in March of this year which allowed Ukrainians to stay, work, receive health treatment, and be educated in Poland.

The introduction of the bill in Ukraine on July 11, was significant, as it marks the day on which Poles commemorated the World War II massacre in Volhynia; Poland treats the event as genocide, as it involved ethnic cleansing carried out by Ukrainian forces allied to Nazi Germany.

Ukraine has not acknowledged Volhynia to be genocide and continues to revere the Ukrainian forces that fought against the Russian Soviet forces in an attempt to liberate Ukraine. 

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