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Duma Votes on Rights of Children From Mixed Marriages

The State Duma has passed a bill in a key second reading that would ease the procedure for children of mixed marriages who were born abroad and live there to obtain Russian citizenship.

The legislation is aimed at protecting the rights of Russian children abroad, officials said.

The bill, approved late Tuesday, would abolish a requirement that the foreign parent give his or her permission for the child to obtain Russian citizenship. Children also would no longer be required to live in Russia for five years or study the language.

But the children would have to choose between two citizenships within two years after turning 18.

The bill was drafted following a series of custody disputes over the past several years involving children from mixed marriages. President Vladimir Putin submitted the bill to the Duma in mid-March.

Article 62 of the Constitution gives Russians the right to hold dual citizenship, but this usually concerns people whose first citizenship is Russian.

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