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The Harmony of Mr. Teriokhin. Is it Due to the Rights of Crimean Immigrants?

An interesting metamorphosis undergoes with the draft law № 4032а “On creation of a free economic zone of Crimea and the peculiarities of conducting economic activity on the temporary occupied territory of Ukraine” (http://bit.ly/1pNMfAZ), which, we hope, has no chance of becoming the Law in the current form.

This draft law was passed by the Council in the second reading and as a whole on August 12, 2014, but on the morning of August 14 it was “voted again” and sent for a repeated second reading.

But at the end of that sessional day, the chairman again put it to a vote with the purpose to adopt it as a whole.

After a fervid, with a hint of pleading, performance by Mr Teriokhin, the majority voted for the draft law as a whole.

As it appears from the shorthand record of Mr. Teriokhin’s speech, the referral of the draft law to a second reading was allegedly connected with the issue of the performing the national lottery by operators in the Crimea and this issue, he said, was afterwards coordinated with the Ministry of Finance.

It was strange that the issue of lottery activity provoked a reaction from members of the parliament in the form of sending a bill on the second reading, but in relation to other provisions of the bill, aimed at significant, mainly unjustified restrictions on the rights of Crimean immigrants, there were no objections on this matter.

Dear elected representatives, please tell us, is there anyone among the nearly 12,000 immigrants from the Crimea concerned about the work of those lotteries? People are interested in issues of citizenship, freedom of movement, protection of economic, housing, social rights and so on. And the law is full of significant shortcomings exactly in the regulation of these matters.

In a fit of appealing, Mr. Teriokhin, affirms the shorthand record of the meeting of the Council, exclaimed: “This law about Crimea falls in line with the law on sanctions. This is complete harmony”.

Believe me, dear deputies that “complete harmony” with the draft law called “law on sanctions” – is a weak consolation for immigrants. But the fact that the voted draft law nullifies the guarantees provided by the Law “On protection of rights and freedoms of citizens and legal regime for the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine” – is true.

Let’s take, for example, the issue of citizenship, coupled with the right to social protection. According to Part 12.7 of Article 12 of the draft law № 4032a, the right to social security applies only to citizens of Ukraine, who do not have citizenship of the country-occupier. This implies not only to help families with children, and grants, subsidies and other monetary payments at the expense of the budget, state social insurance funds (ensuring), the Deposit Insurance Fund, receipt of the tax social privilege as well as benefits and compensations as defined in Article 14, but also the guaranteeing of deposits. Essentially, this means that the only people who can rely on these guarantees are only those few thousand people who were able to file with the authorities of the Crimea an application “to maintain the citizenship of Ukraine”.

And how do these people have to prove that they did not receive the citizenship of the Russian Federation? By providing a certificate from the authorities of the Crimea? But the existence of such bodies, and thus given by them “documents”, are not recognized by the Law “On protection of rights and freedoms of citizens and legal regime for the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine” (Article 9). This is first of all.

Second, by recognizing the fact of  adoption by Ukrainian citizens the citizenship of the Russian Federation in Crimea after March 18, 2014, our members of parliament actually reject one of the fundamental provisions of the Law “On protection of rights and freedoms of citizens and legal regime for the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine” which establishes that “Forced automatic acquisition of the citizenship of the Russian Federation by the citizens of Ukraine residing on the temporarily occupied territory is not recognized by Ukraine and is not accepted as a ground for loss of citizenship of Ukraine” (Part 4 of Art. 5).

So who are we then, the citizens of Ukraine in accordance with the Constitution and Part 4 of Article 5 of the Law “On protection of rights and freedoms of citizens and legal regime for the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine”, or the citizens of the Russian Federation, according to the Federal Constitutional Law “On the adoption in the Russian Federation of the Republic of Crimea and the creation in structure of the Russian Federation of two new entities – the Republic of Crimea and the City of Federal Importance Sevastopol”, which actually is recognized by existing content of provisions of the draft law 4032a (Paragraph 12.7, Article 12). And what is going to happen if this bill becomes Law?

This also surprises the structure of law principle set forth in Paragraph 12.7 of Article 12 of the draft law 4032a regarding the obligation of a person to indicate in a personal declaration the absence of the citizenship of the country-occupier. How should the state agency of Ukraine treat what is written in a personal declaration of an immigrant, who, for example, indicated the existence of his Russian Federation citizenship in accordance with the FCL of the Russian Federation “On the adoption in the Russian Federation of Republic of Crimea and the creation in structure of the Russian Federation of two new entities – the Republic of Crimea and the City of Federal Importance Sevastopol” if Ukraine does not recognize the new government of Crimea and considers the issued over there documents invalid? In addition, there is also a clause in Part 4 of Article 5 of the Law “On protection of rights and freedoms of citizens and legal regime for the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine”, which does not recognize the citizenship of the Russian Federation received in the Crimea after March 18, 2014.

If the state agency agrees with the fact that such a person is a citizen of the Russian Federation, it will be a de facto recognition of the legitimacy of the RF authorities in the Crimea.

Even if we assume that such a person may be recognized as having both citizenship of the Russian Federation and citizenship of Ukraine, then in relations with Ukraine he/she must be recognized as a citizen of Ukraine. Therefore the regulations of Article 18 of the same law extends to him/her, which states that “Citizens of Ukraine are guaranteed the full enjoyment of their rights and freedoms under the Constitution of Ukraine, including social, labour, voting rights and the right to an education after leaving the temporarily occupied territory”.

And now the question arises: who among the immigrants may, by following the requirements of Paragraph 12.7 of Article 12 of the named draft law, without the risk of being accused of possessing the citizenship of the RF, use one kind of social (not just social) assistance? Even by providing evidence that the person submitted to the Migration Service of the RF the application about the “intent to maintain citizenship of Ukraine” is not an absolute guarantee, confirming the absence of citizenship of the Russian Federation. As this document may come only from the official authorities of the Crimea, it turns out that the state either recognizes the presence of the second citizenship (RF), or accepts the “document” issued in Crimea and confirming the refusal of citizenship of the Russian Federation and, therefore, in any case recognizes the legitimacy of the new Crimean authorities.

Following Paragraph 12.7 of Article 12 of the draft law, Paragraph 12.8 is next. As the old saying goes “trouble comes in threes”. After making a real mess of things with the matter of nationality, our members of parliament decided to completely finish off the unlucky immigrant – whether he is or is not a citizen of Ukraine.

Thus, the Parliament has established that the provision by Ukrainian banks and other financial institutions of financial services, including through sales representatives (commercial agents), to individuals with a location (residence, sojourn) in the temporarily occupied territory is prohibited.

But has anyone asked how many immigrants have registered at the new place of residence, sojourn? Which of  them have discharged from the Crimea and registered in mainland Ukraine? And how to register in Kyiv for a person, who does not have his/her own living quarters in that city? Thus, by living in a rented apartment in Kyiv, Vinnytsia or Lviv, the immigrant remains registered in the Crimea, and therefore not entitled to receive any financial services in mainland Ukraine. How can such an immigrant conform to the new location if he/she becomes absolutely powerless – neither to open a bank account nor to conclude a contract for housing construction?

In the shorthand record of the Parliament session on 08.14.2014 is stated that in the end, the deputy Teriokhin turned to his colleagues with these words: “I kindly ask you to vote. We have a mess now on the administrative territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the economic, humanitarian and migration situation is in disarray”.

Mr. President! As well as deputy Teriokhin kindly asked the Parliament to vote for this draft law, we kindly ask You not to sign it as follows, because then the “mess” with the administrative territory of Crimea will move to the mainland of Ukraine – the mess in the area of enforcement of rights and freedoms of citizens of Ukraine, which were forcibly resettled from the Crimea.

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