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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Zelensky announces plan to grant special status to Poles in Ukraine

22.05.2022 19:35
Ukraine’s president seeks to give special status to Polish people living in his country, news outlets reported on Sunday.
Polish President Andrzej Duda (left) and Ukraines Volodymyr Zelensky (right) hold a joint news conference after their talks in Kyiv, on Sunday, May 22, 2022.
Polish President Andrzej Duda (left) and Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky (right) hold a joint news conference after their talks in Kyiv, on Sunday, May 22, 2022.PAP/EPA/Sergey Dolzhenko

The plan was announced by Volodymyr Zelensky’s press secretary Serhiy Nikiforov, Polish state news agency PAP reported, citing Ukraine’s UNIAN news agency.

Special status

Nikiforov said: “We must note Poland’s law for people temporarily repatriated from Ukraine, which in effect gives Ukrainian citizens the same status as Polish citizens, with the exception of voting rights.”

“And so a similar law will be passed in Ukraine at the president’s initiative,” the official added.

Nikiforov did not give further details, apart from confirming that Ukraine’s foreign ministry would draw up the bill and submit it to parliament. 

‘Poles in Ukraine will have the same rights as Ukrainians in Poland’

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian president himself said on Sunday that the draft legislation would be sent to the Verkhovna Rada “in the immediate future,” the PAP news agency reported. 

At a joint news conference with visiting Polish head of state Andrzej Duda, Zelensky also stated: “all the rights that Ukrainians have been granted in Poland, the same rights will apply to Polish citizens in Ukraine.”

Duda earlier delivered a speech to the Ukrainian parliament, stressing that “only Ukraine has the right to decide its future.”

The Polish president’s address was greeted with a standing ovation. Duda later also held private talks with Zelensky. 

Poland’s support for refugees from Ukraine

Poland in March enacted a measure to offer wide-ranging support to Ukrainians escaping the Russian invasion of their country, which began on February 24.

The measure grants them residence rights and ensures access to education, healthcare and social benefits.

More than 90 percent of Poles are in favour of accepting refugees from war-torn Ukraine, according to a survey.

Sunday is day 88 of Russia’s war on Ukraine. 

Poland on Sunday reported it had welcomed 3.53 million refugees fleeing Russia's invasion of Ukraine.       

(pm)

Source: PAPmoney.pl