Donetsk, Apr 14 – DAN. A group of Russian parliamentarians has brought forward a bill exempting Russian citizenship applicants from the Donetsk and Lugansk regions from paying the state duty. The document was published on the State Duma website.
Seventeen parliamentarians including Andrey Kozenko, Natalia Poklonskaya, Alexey Zhuravlyov, Viktor Vodolatsky, Kazbek Taisayev, Sergey Tsekov and Olga Kovitidi called for adding a new provision to Article 333 of the Tax Code to cancel the state duty on the fast track Russian citizenship procedure for DPR and LPR residents.
“The Russian Federation is currently the only country which protects the rights and freedoms of Donbass residents,” the authors said presenting the new legislation. ”The protection and support of the Russian speaking population across the world has been a key priority of Russia’s foreign policy, so easy Russian citizenship terms for DPR and LPR residents will follow up this strategy.”
The state duty paid by Russian citizenship applicants from the DPR and LPR currently amounts to 3,500 rubles. However, despite the Republics’ leaders welfare strategies, the duty, given its ratio to the average income in the Republics, remains a heavy burden for low-income groups including pensioners.
According to Russian lawmakers, the average monthly wage in the LPR reached 10,979 rubles and the average pension 9,466 rubles in the second half of 2019. In the Donetsk People’s Republic, the average monthly wage and pension in the designated period were 12,036 rubles and 4,937 rubles, respectively.
The new legislation received support from the Russian Cabinet.
On April 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the degree on determining groups of foreign nationals eligible to obtain Russian citizenship under a simplified procedure. The document specifically eases Russian citizenship rules for residents of the Donbass Republics. The first such passports were issued on July 14. Donbass Republics residents have to travel to Russia’s Rostov region to collect their Russian passports.
As of early April 2020, 93,855 DPR residents had received Russian passports under a fast track procedure.*jk