Russia’s new law on citizenship

Last Friday Russia’s State Duma gave the third, final reading to the law “On RF citizenship”. When the document comes into effect, it will be more difficult to get Russian citizenship, the procedure may even last for several years. Why did the authorities have to change the previous law on citizenship, that was rightfully considered to be one of Russia’s achievements in the sphere of human rights?

Experts think, the previous law on citizenship was good for that transition period when it was passed, it is out-of-date now. To tell the truth, it is better to say, the previous law opened Russia for citizens of the Former Soviet Union and migrants from Afghanistan, Vietnam, China, etc.

The new law deprived the Russian people abroad of though illusive, but protection from arbitrariness of the authorities of new independent states that appeared after the breakup of the USSR. Russia seems to have completely forgotten about its people living in former Soviet republics now.

The country is more focused now on struggle with illegal migrants than protection of former countrymen. The Ministry for Internal Affairs promised to settle migration problem within a short period. We can easily imagine what they can do. Aide to Russian president Sergey Yastrzhembsky spoke about RF citizenship today as well. In his words, the new law agrees with the world practice and the European citizenship convention. As he says, the law “was developed in accordance with the international norms, the most liberal ones, by the way.”

According to the European citizenship convention, residence requirement may be from 5 to 10 years. To get citizenship in other European countries people are to know the language, Constitution and history of the country which citizenship they wish to receive. The presidential aide thinks, adoption of the new law is “a great advance of Russia to adjustment of its internal laws to the international norms.”

The Novaya Gazeta newspaper criticizes the new law, as it makes the second chop people of emigrants.

Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

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