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    Zelensky opts for special status in Ukraine for Poles

    Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, has sent to parliament a draft law granting Polish citizens special status in Ukraine.

    The draft law on “legal and social guarantees” for Polish citizens in Ukraine is an expression of gratitude to the Polish nation for the solidarity and support offered during the war against Russia, and the implementation of the principle of reciprocity reads a statement issued by the Office of the Ukrainian President on Monday.

    Under the draft, Polish citizens are to be granted the same rights and guarantees as the ones offered by Poland to Ukrainians in March, the office wrote.

    In March, the Polish parliament adopted a bill on assistance to Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion.

    Under the law, Ukrainian refugees can receive financial assistance, legalise their stay in Poland and receive the PESEL national identification number. Ukrainian refugees are allowed to work in Poland and have access to the country’s healthcare system, while Ukrainian students can continue learning in Polish schools and universities.

    “The draft is designed to make future cooperation easier,” PAP has been told by Polish government spokesman Piotr Mueller. 

    Mueller added that it had been decided that such a draft would be sent to the Ukrainian parliament during Polish-Ukrainian intergovernmental consultations in Kyiv on June 1.

    “Its aim is to create identical solutions which are binding in Poland, and to facilitate future economic and social cooperation,” Mueller said.

    “This is especially significant with a view to plans for Ukraine’s rebuilding and Poland’s role in the process,” the spokesman added.

    President Zelensky has also granted the honorary title of a rescuer city to the Polish south-eastern city of Przemyśl for the unprecedented solidarity of local authorities, city residents and volunteers with the Ukrainian people, for the huge assistance offered to Ukrainians forced to leave their homeland after Russia’s invasion, and for the strong support of Ukraine in the defence of its independence and sovereignty, reads the statement.

    Earlier, the same honorary title went to the Polish south-eastern city of Rzeszów.

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