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New Ukrainian government to have Slovak minister

Former finance minister Ivan Mikloš made a preliminary agreement on becoming a member of new Ukrainian government, but has conditions.

Mikloš, who stood behind many reforms in Slovakia when he was in office, is a serious candidate for the post of finance minister and deputy prime minister in the new Ukrainian government led by current Speaker of Parliament Volodymyr Groysman. He confirmed to the Denník N daily that he personally discussed the possibility with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Groysman.

“I received the offer from the government and gave preliminary consent to my nomination, but only after fulfilling certain conditions,” Mikloš told Denník N.

One of them is that he wants to keep his Slovak citizenship. Under the current Ukrainian laws, only people having the Ukrainian passport can become members of government. The Slovak law on state citizenship, however, stipulates that every person obtaining the citizenship of a foreign country automatically loses the Slovak one.

“It is unacceptable for me to lose Slovak citizenship,” Mikloš continued, “so now it is up to the Ukrainian side, which will probably have to change the legislation.”

He stressed he does not want to withdraw this condition.

Though the amendment to the Slovak law on state citizenship, prepared by the Most-Híd party, enables the interior minister to grant an exception, the basic condition is that Mikloš will have to ask for it. If he did not do so, he would automatically lose his Slovak passport.

When asked what he would do in the new government, Mikloš said that his job would be similar to the one in two Slovak governments: to coordinate economic reforms and oversee the economic departments.

All three foreigners who were appointed ministers in the currently ruling government have been granted Ukrainian citizenship: Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko born in the USA, ex-economy minister Aivaras Abromavicius born in Lithuania, and former health minister Alexander Kvitashvili coming from Georgia.

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