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Russian Passports With Digital Fingerprint Record to Begin Next Year

Russians applying for biometric passports for foreign travel will be fingerprinted starting next year, and the prints will be added to a digital record, an order published on the government website said.

The amendment expands authorities' list of biometric data to include prints of two fingers of the passport holder's hands, the order published Wednesday said.

Diplomatic missions abroad, which also process passport applications, will have until Jan. 1, 2016 to implement the new rules, depending on how soon they receive the necessary equipment and software.

Russia began a trial run of fingerprinting for biometric passports in Moscow and St. Petersburg last year, and the Federal Migration Service said that the practice would be implemented on a mass scale in 2015.

The service currently issues two kinds of passports for foreign travel — the 10-year biometric passport and a simpler and less expensive five-year passport, which does not include biometric data.

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