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May 18, 2018

Ukraine finally caves in after withdrawing a bill that would strip dual citizens of their Ukrainian citizenship

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said this must only be “the first step” if the country is serious about its Euro-Atlantic aspirations

Ukraine has finally caved in under pressure from Hungary after withdrawing a bill that would strip dual citizens of their Ukrainian citizenship.

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said this must only be “the first step” if the country is serious about its Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

President Petro Poroshenko withdrew the bill on Wednesday that would have withdrawn Ukrainian citizenship from dual citizens who participate in the elections of other countries and use foreign passports when travelling in and out of Ukraine.

The Transcarpathian Hungarian Cultural Association (KMKSZ) welcomed the decision.

“The bill would have had an adverse impact on the lives of millions of Ukrainian citizens who had fled a life without prospects," KMKSZ said in an official statement. "Ukrainian citizens with dual citizenship of EU countries are an opportunity for rapprochement towards European structures and to strengthen the country’s European integration.”

The proposal, which Hungary had criticized on multiple occasions, was originally meant to target Crimeans, but it would also have applied to citizens of every other country, including Transcarpathia Hungarians.

Minister Szijjártó has said that the law, if passed, would have been Ukraine’s “third blow” to its national minorities after the country’s amendment to its education law and the declaration of its language law as unconstitutional.