Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has responded to a petition calling for the introduction of a mandatory comprehensive exam for obtaining Ukrainian citizenship.
The document was registered on the presidential website on May 23 by Vitaliy Kapustyan, and so far it has already garnered over 25,000 signatures – the number required for a mandatory response from the head of state.
The author of the petition demands the introduction of a comprehensive examination for obtaining citizenship in Ukraine. It should consist of a test on the Ukrainian language, the history of Ukraine, knowledge of the Constitution, and the national anthem.
It notes that the exam does not exempt candidates for citizenship from providing other necessary documents, but that the test should be an integral part of the process of acquiring citizenship.
"The Armed Forces of Ukraine, volunteers, and all concerned Ukrainians are doing everything possible to preserve the integrity of Ukraine,” the author of the petition stated in the explanatory note.
“Being Ukrainian is a privilege and at the same time a responsibility. In addition to the set of documents, candidates must show their respect and genuine interest in acquiring Ukrainian citizenship."
In response to the petition, President Zelenskyy noted that one of the requirements for obtaining Ukrainian citizenship by foreigners is the level of command of the state language. This is determined by the National Commission on the Standards of the State Language, which sets the appropriate test.
At the same time, the requirements for obtaining citizenship do not include passing tests on the history of Ukraine and Ukrainian legislation.
"The issue of introducing a mandatory exam for acquiring Ukrainian citizenship will require legislative regulation," the president said.
He explained that the government of Ukraine ensures the implementation of policy in the spheres of education and science, the comprehensive development and functioning of the state language in all spheres of public life throughout the territory of Ukraine, the implementation of state legal policy, and regulates migration processes.
"That's why I ask Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal to look comprehensively into the issues raised in the electronic petition,” Zelenskyy said.
“The author of the electronic petition will be informed about the results of consideration of the issues raised.”
As scandal erupted in Ukraine on June 3, after adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs Anton Gerashchenko announced that Russian journalist Aleksandr Nevzorov and his wife Lidia had received Ukrainian citizenship.
Public opinion was divided, with some criticizing the granting of citizenship. There are no other recent decrees on the granting of Ukrainian citizenship on the website of the President of Ukraine.
It is also not known whether Nevzorov took a test on the level of his proficiency in Ukrainian.