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14% of Moscow Marriages Involve an Expat

There is only one wedding registry for couples with a foreign partner. Dustin J McClure

Expatriates getting married in Moscow face the taxing experience of waiting around for hours at the city's civilian registry office, known as ZAGS, though the newlyweds think the wait is worth it to prove that their love is not held back by their places of origin.

Of the more than 90,000 marriages registered in Moscow in 2012, a full 14.1 percent of them involved a foreign spouse, according to official marriage statistics.

The foreign spouses from far away countries came from 116 different nations worldwide, with Turkey, Germany, Israel, the United States, Great Britain and Italy leading the pack with the most registered marriages, The Village reported Wednesday.

Among former Soviet republics, it was residents from Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia and Belarus who most frequently got married in Moscow.

In the vast majority of cases it is the groom who comes from far away lands; 1,781 foreign grooms from countries outside the former Soviet Union were recorded last year compared to only 228 brides.

For comparison, in 2011, 21 percent of married households in the U.S. included a spouse from a different country, according to the Census Bureau.

While residents of these countries can marry in any one of the city's wedding registry offices, all other foreigners are wed in a single place ­— registry office number 4 on Butyrskaya Ulitsa

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