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Ukrainian parliament passes act for special status of Poles

Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, passed a bill on Thursday giving Poles in the country a special status including legal and social guarantees, the parliament has announced on its website.

The act was passed with 283 votes in favour, none against and no abstentions, although 50 MPs did not vote. The bill now goes to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for signing into law.

The bill, tabled by the head of state, is titled “Establishing legal and social guarantees for citizens of the Republic of Poland residing on the territory of Ukraine.”

The president’s office said the bill was a gesture of gratitude to the Polish nation for its solidarity and support in the face of Russia’s invasion and aims to give Poles in Ukraine the same rights and guarantees as those granted to Ukrainians in Poland under a law of March 12, 2022, on aid to war refugees.

The bill was prepared at Mr Zelenskyy’s initiative and foresees, among other measures, the possibility of Poles and their families legally staying in Ukraine for up to 18 months
, coming into force from the date of the law’s enactment.

Polish nationals will also receive the right to work, run a business, study, and use medical services in Ukraine with the payment of certain social benefits also planned.

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