The decree will allow foreigners and stateless persons to defend the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
President Petro Poroshenko has signed Decree №248 / 2016 "On the approval of the regulations of military service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine by foreigners and stateless persons," as reported on Friday, June 10th, on the President’s website.
"The decree is aimed at regulating the recruitment of privates, sergeants and petty officers for military service under the contract of the Armed Forces of Ukraine by foreigners and stateless persons. The system is determined by the Law of Ukraine 'On Military Duty and Military Service'," the text of the document reads.
It is reported that the adoption of this decree will allow foreigners and stateless persons who had not performed military service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine before (who are currently in the military units), to "faithfully and voluntarily perform their duty to protect the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine."
On October 6, 2015 the Verkhovna Rada allowed foreigners and stateless persons to serve in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In January, the Ukrainian parliament approved a bill on a simplified procedure of granting Ukrainian citizenship to foreigners and stateless persons who do military service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
On Monday, March 28th, Poroshenko signed a decree amending the procedure for granting citizenship to foreigners serving in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, a move that came in response to mounting pressure on the Ukrainian President to provide citizenship to foreigners who fought in the war in the Donbas against pro-Russian separatists. To many who answered Kiev’s call to come to the Donbas to defend Ukraine against Russian aggression, however, Poroshenko’s decree on Monday is little more than a slap in the face, as they still find themselves facing deportation from the country.