Zelensky responds to petition to lift ban on men leaving Ukraine

11 June, 03:58 PM
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (Photo:president.gov.ua)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (Photo:president.gov.ua)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on June 10 responded to a petition posted on the presidential website calling for the lifting of the travel ban for men aged 18 to 60.

The petition calling for "the lifting of the travel ban for men aged 18 to 60 and the introduction of a priority during the mobilization of volunteers" appeared on the president's website on May 18. Later on, it was signed by over 27,000 people, with 25,000 signatures required to obtain an official response.

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In his response, Zelensky emphasized that the defense of Ukraine is a matter for the whole nation.

"As the president …, I note that in accordance with Article 17 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the protection of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state is a matter for the entire Ukrainian people," he said.

Zelensky also pointed to Article 65 of the Constitution of Ukraine, according to which the protection of the homeland, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine is the duty of citizens, while the right to freely leave its territory may be restricted by Article 64 under martial law.

Answering a question regarding priority during the mobilization of volunteers, the Ukrainian president stressed that it was the Cabinet of Ministers that is responsible for mobilization (including determining its order).

In this regard, Zelensky appealed to Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal to "comprehensively process" the petition's proposals, paying special attention to:

• observance of the constitutional rights of citizens;

• the prevention and detection of possible corruption-related offenses, in particular among the staff of border checkpoints and territorial centers of recruitment and social support.

Zelensky first commented on the petition on May 22, saying that he did not understand to whom the said petition was actually addressed, when from 50 to 100 people die in eastern Ukraine every day.

In turn, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said he believed that all men should stay in Ukraine while the war continues.

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