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Ministry willing to help Ukrainian model seek Taiwan citizenship

2016/04/18 17:39:01

(CNA file photo)

Taipei, April 18 (CNA) The Ministry of the Interior expressed willingness Monday to assist Taiwan-based Ukrainian actress and model Larisa Bakurova in her efforts to seek Republic of China citizenship.

Bakurova, who has worked in Taiwan for over seven years and who married a Taiwanese national last year, said earlier this month that she has wanted to renounce her Ukrainian nationality and obtain Taiwanese nationality for the past three years, but has been unable to do so at Ukrainian embassies overseas, allegedly because Taiwan and Ukraine do not have formal diplomatic ties. Bakurova currently holds a Taiwanese permanent resident certificate.

Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟), a Democratic Progressive Party legislator, questioned Interior Minister Chen Wei-zen (陳威仁) over the issue during a legislative session Monday, in which Chen responded that his ministry is "willing to assist" Bakurova.

Chang Wan-yi (張琬宜), head of the ministry's Department of Household Registration Affairs, said that as far as her ministry knows, it is the first case involving a Ukrainian citizen seeking ROC citizenship.

Chang said that after Bakurova renounces her Ukrainian nationality and provides the renunciation certificate to the Taiwan government, she can apply to be naturalized as an ROC citizen.

In response to recent media reports that the Ukrainian government has rejected Bakurova's application to relinquish her Ukrainian nationality, Chang cited Taiwan's Nationality Act as saying that if Bakurova cannot obtain the renunciation certificate for reasons beyond her control, and foreign affairs authorities have investigated and determined that it is true, then Bakurova does not need to provide the certificate.

Bakurova took to Facebook on Monday to express her gratitude for the support she has received. "I cried... Truly, thank you! Thank you Taiwan!" she wrote.

Bakurova has acted in TV dramas and films, including "They Kiss Again," "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" and "Young Dudes."

(By Chen Chun-hua Christie Chen)