Statement from Daria Morozova on intention of Ukrainian authorities to expropriate property of DPR citizens

Comments and statements of the Ombudsman News

Today a draft law was registered in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine providing for the expropriation of the property of Donbass citizens who gained Russian citizenship, although there is no possibility to read the text of the document, because it is not available on the official websites.

I want to remind Ukrainian parliamentarians that the Constitution of Ukraine guarantees the right of everyone to own, use and dispose of their property (Article 41 of the Constitution of Ukraine). No one can be unlawfully deprived of the right to property, which is inviolable. The supreme law of Ukraine provides for that anyone can have property rights, which implies any individual or natural person, including citizens of Ukraine, foreign citizens, stateless persons and legal entities formed by citizens. Violation of this article leads to violation of civil law and regulations that expand the concept of property ownership, enshrined in the Constitution.

Article 321 of the Civil Code of Ukraine, which regulates the right to property, says that the expropriation of objects of the right to private property may be applied only as an exception for reasons of social necessity, on condition of advance and full reimbursement of their value. It is specified that under conditions of martial law or a state of emergency, a property may be forcibly alienated from the owner with full reimbursement subsequently of its value. The introduction of martial law is the only condition stipulated by the Ukrainian legislation, which would allow the expropriation of the property of citizens. However, even large-scale military operations causing civilian deaths did not become a prerequisite for the introduction of martial law only because it was not economically beneficial for the government of Ukraine.

The right to private property is also enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees the right of everyone to own property alone as well as in association with others. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his/her property.

It may, therefore, be said that even by submitting such documents for consideration, some Ukrainian politicians encroach on the fundamental rights of Donbass residents. It is the position of the Ukrainian authorities to discriminate people on the basis of political opinion, origin, nationality, language and religion has led to the civil war in Ukraine. And now we can add expropriation of private property to this list, which goes against all the norms and values ​​of a democratic and rule-of-law state, which Ukraine views itself. Such statements will never contribute to a constructive dialogue and a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbass.

It is also possible that such draft laws are nothing more than publicity stunts in front of the electorate in advance of parliamentary elections scheduled for July 21, 2019. Because of the failure to provide its citizens with adequate laws that would improve the quality of life of the population, the so-called “people’s chosen ones” engage in activities that do not go beyond unlawful political rhetoric.