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 Parliament takes a step toward legalizing foreign volunteers fighting on Ukrainian side

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The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine approved in principle a draft law "On amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine concerning military service in the armed forces of Ukraine by foreigners and stateless persons" (#2389).

The decision was supported by 257 deputies, Censor.NET correspondent reports.

The bill proposes amendments to some laws of Ukraine that regulate the joining and undergoing military service by foreigners, stateless persons under contract as privates and petty officers of the armed forces and other military formations.

The bill also proposes new wording of Article 447 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine "Mercenaries".

Head of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defense of Ukraine Serhii Pashynskyi said that this bill provides solution to several problems faced by foreigners who defend the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine, namely simplified and brief procedure of acquiring citizenship of Ukraine and legalization of military service for those foreign citizens who do not want to give up their citizenship and change it to Ukrainian.

Read also: Poroshenko Intends to Grant Ukrainian Citizenship to Foreigners Fighting in ATO

Radical Party MP Ihor Mosyichuk reminded that Ukraine's independence in the Donbas is defended by people like Swedish sniper Mikael Skillt as well as fighters from Chechnya and Russia.

"We have to remember the unfortunately deceased Isa Munayev, who, in essence, is a hero of Ukraine, who gave his live for the freedom of Ukraine and the freedom of Ichkeria," Mosyichuk said.

The MP also noted that apart from this bill, there is a need to talk about creation of the Foreign Legion in Ukraine. According to Mosyichuk, this bill will be important for those Russians who are on Ukrainian side against Moscow and want to overthrow Putin, but do not want to be deprived of Russian citizenship.

MP from the Opposition Bloc Vadym Rabynovych said that the bill, in his opinion, legalizes mercenaries: "We just legalize mercenaries and turn Ukraine into a gathering of armed men with unknown passports. In no case should not we turn Ukraine into a base for wild geese," Rabynovych concluded.

 
 
 
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