President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych has brought in to the Parliament as urgent a draft law amending some laws of Ukraine regulating the status of ethnic Ukrainians living abroad.

The draft law aims to legally establish the principles of cooperation with ethnic Ukrainians living abroad. 

The bill proposes that an ethnic Ukrainian living abroad, who legally stays in Ukraine, enjoys the same rights and freedoms, but also bears the same obligations, as the citizens of Ukraine, if not stipulated otherwise by the Constitution, laws or international treaties of Ukraine.

Ethnic Ukrainians living abroad will be able to work at the enterprises, institutions and organizations of Ukraine, or conduct other business activities on the same grounds and in the same manner as the citizens of Ukraine are, and will be able to gain Ukrainian citizenship under a simplified procedure. 

Those ethnic Ukrainians living abroad, who graduated from foreign schools, will be eligible budget grants to study in Ukraine within the quotas set for the study of foreigners and stateless persons. 

The draft law proposes making Ukrainian state authorities’ organizational, methodological, technical and other support available to ethnic Ukrainians living abroad, as well as the financial support of NGOs. 

The adoption of the bill will enhance the consistency of cooperation between Ukrainian public authorities and Ukrainian diaspora public organizations, and provide for a more comprehensive satisfaction of its national, cultural, educational, language and information needs.

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