Kyiv issues restrictions on passports for military-age men

Kyiv issues restrictions on passports for military-age men
Kyiv issues restrictions on passports for military-age men

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - The Ukrainian government, further tightening regulations as it seeks to address a shortage of troops, approved rules temporarily barring military-age men from applying for passports abroad. — Reuters pic

KYIV, April 25 — The Ukrainian government, further tightening regulations as it seeks to address a shortage of troops, approved rules temporarily barring military-age men from applying for passports abroad.

The provisions, and a subsequent clarification from Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry, were announced yesterday, a day after Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba suspended consular services for males aged 18 to 60 until May 18. He criticised those abroad for failing to serve in the 26-month-old war against Russia.

The Foreign Ministry said applicants seeking a special certificate declaring they wished to return to Ukraine would be able to get help at embassies and consulates.

Regular services, it said, would resume on May 18, and applications received after April 23 would be handled then.

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That is when a new law on mobilisation is to come into effect that aims to increase troop numbers through incentives to volunteers and punishments for draft dodgers.

Hundreds of thousands of military-age Ukrainian men are living abroad, including an estimated 860,000 in the European Union, and the country faces a shortage of troops in the campaign against Russia’s better equipped and larger military.

The Foreign Ministry said private agencies would no longer be able to handle passport applications, only government missions.

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It said the new restrictions did not apply to nationals now permitted to cross state borders while martial law is in force, including those with disabilities.

In his comments on the suspension of consular services on Tuesday, Kuleba said it was incongruous that men subject to conscription were living abroad yet still wanted to receive state services.

“Staying abroad does not relieve a citizen of his or her duties to the homeland,” he wrote on X. — Reuters

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