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Ukraine is not integrating immigrants into society

06.02.2009 |

According to the State Committee on Nationality and Religion, money is not allocated, nor are there any special State programmes for effective integration of immigrants who have received Ukrainian citizenship into society.  Almost five thousand people from 49 different countries received citizenship last year.

The majority of people who became Ukrainian citizens last year came from Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova. Around 2 million UAH would be needed per year to ensure their successful integration, however according to Mykola Yeruk from the Department on Refugees, Migrants and Asylum, no money has thus far been allocated. He says that there is still failure to understand the importance of helping these people integrate into society.

He notes, however, that the European Union is implementing a programme for integrating immigrants in Ukraine. “Language learning, study of the culture and professional re-training will be tried out. We have applications from refugees from Africa, Asia, who are ready to go to our villages and work there. The only conditions are that they have accommodation, work and that there’s somewhere for their children to study. And we need to somehow react to these wishes”. Yerukh stresses that immigration could positively effect the development of the Ukrainian economy.

Deputy Director of the Institute for Demography and Social Research, Ella Libanova is convinced that an increase in the number of people from other countries wanting to gain Ukrainian citizenship could also improve the demographic situation.

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