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Ukraine cuts consular services for potential conscripts lodged overseas

In News, World
April 23, 2024

Kyiv’s top diplomat orders the move as war-torn country pushes to boost conscription.

Ukraine is set to suspend consular services for military-age men abroad.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Tuesday that he had ordered services cut for all such men, except for those returning to Ukraine. The move comes as Kyiv pushes to boost conscription in a bid to halt building Russian momentum on the battlefield.

Kuleba said in a statement on X that he had ordered the measures to restore what he described as “fair treatment” for men of mobilisation age.

“How it looks like now: a man of conscription age went abroad, showed his state that he does not care about its survival, and then comes and wants to receive services from this state,” he said. “It does not work this way. Our country is at war.”

He said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would clarify the procedure for military-age men to obtain consular services soon.

Eurostat estimates that about 4.3 million Ukrainians were registered in European Union countries as of January, of which about 20 percent, or 860,000, were adult men.

Kuleba’s move appears linked to a hotly debated new law that aims to speed up mobilisation into the armed forces.

The law, which comes into effect next month, will require all military-age men to report to draught offices to update their documents, remotely or in person, within 60 days. They would need those papers to receive consular services.

“Staying abroad does not relieve a citizen of his or her duties to the homeland,” Kuleba said.

In a separate statement, the state passport service said “due to technical reasons” it was suspending the issuance of “ready-made documents” in overseas branches.

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