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Ukraine's Justice Ministry says it knows nothing about Chernovetsky's second citizenship

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Aug. 3, 2011, 4:46 p.m. | Kyiv — by Interfax-Ukraine
The Justice Ministry of Ukraine has said it has no information about the possible second citizenship of Kyiv Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky. "We have no information on his dual citizenship. I, like you, learned from the media that mister Chernovetsky might have Israeli citizenship," First Deputy Justice Minister and Acting Justice Minister Inna Yemelianova told reporters on Wednesday, after a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

She noted that even if the reports about the mayor's having dual citizenship are confirmed, instructions he gave in previous years while mayor cannot be cancelled.

Some media reported that Kyiv Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky has been a citizen of Israel since 1994.

"According to the information from the Interior Ministry's database, Leonid Chernovetsky and his wife Alina Aivazova emigrated to Israel on October 5, 1994. Both have standard Israeli identity cards. As of July 2011, Chernovetsky was registered as residing in a street in north Tel Aviv," according to the IzRus portal (izrus.co.il).

A source told the Web site that Chernovetsky immigrated to Israel in accordance with the law of return, since his father Mykhailo Chernovetsky had Jewish roots.

Chernovetsky ran for Ukraine's presidency in 2004, was elected Kyiv mayor in 2006, and re-elected to this post in 2008. In addition he has been a member of the Ukrainian parliament. Ukrainian law does not allow foreign citizens to hold any of the country's high positions and prohibits dual citizenship.
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