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Russia Moves Toward Dual Citizenship for Foreigners

Non-Russians seeking a second passport will no longer have to give up their existing one.

Russian passports may become more attractive. Sergei Vedyashkin / Moskva News Agency

Russia’s lower chamber of parliament plans to vote on legislation that could allow dual citizenship for foreigners wanting to become Russian citizens, the RBC news website reported Tuesday. 

Analysts believe the new rules may increase the attractiveness of a Russian passport, as in the past foreigners applying for the documents have had to renounce their existing citizenship.

The State Duma on Tuesday adopted the legislation for consideration. It is expected to enter its first reading on Oct. 23-24.

“In the context of globalization, wider ranges of contacts and trips, it's very difficult for people to make one choice. This is a global trend — people coming around to dual citizenship,” Olga Chudinovskikh from Moscow State University’s economics department told RBC. 

President Vladimir Putin signed migration policy guidelines for 2019-2025 last year stating that there should be clear and simple conditions for acquiring Russian citizenship. 

More than 220,000 people became Russian citizens between January and August this year, up 22% from the same period in 2018, according to Interior Ministry data.

Putin expanded the list of people eligible for fast-tracked passports in July by adding residents of separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine.

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