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Bill to strip terrorists of citizenship may be given first reading in May — MP

April 19, 0:54 UTC+3 MOSCOW

A decision to grant the Russian citizenship may be reversed if an individual to whom it was granted has joined the Islamic State terrorist group outlawed in Russia

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© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, April 18. /TASS/. The State Duma lower house of parliament may give its first reading to a bill aiming to strip convicted terrorists of their Russian citizenship in the second half of May, a senior parliamentarian told TASS on Tuesday.

"We will not be stalling it. I think we will discuss it (under the first reading) after the (May) holidays," said Pavel Krasheninnikov, the head of the Duma committee for legislation and state-building. "The topic is clear; it has been discussed since long. We will advance it," he said.

The initiative was also backed by the first deputy to the chairman of the Duma committee for nationalities, Mikhail Starshinov. "We must clearly understand that ensuring security of our citizens should stand first, while a bid to hold arms out to the whole world sometimes leads to dire consequences," he said.

The leaders of all four State Duma lower house’s factions - Vladimir Vassilyev (United Russia), Gennady Zyuganov (Communist Party of the Russian Federation), Vladimir Zhirinovsky (Liberal Democratic Party) and Sergey Mironov (A Just Russia Party) brought in the bill on Tuesday.

"The bill envisages amendments to Article 22 of the Law on Citizenship, under which conviction for a terrorism-related crime under the court sentence that has taken effect will constitute grounds for revoking the decision on acquisition of the Russian citizenship," an explanatory note said.

The current legislation does not envisage this, parliamentarians say. They believe these amendments will come as additional measures "to protect citizens against terrorism and will help avert terrorist crimes by people who have been granted the Russian citizenship," the note said.

A decision to grant the Russian citizenship may be reversed if an individual to whom it was granted has joined the Islamic State terrorist group outlawed in Russia, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with the Mir 24 TV channel last week.

"In line with the Russian constitution, we cannot strip anyone of their citizenship. However, we may cancel relevant decisions that served as a basis for obtaining the Russian citizenship. We will consult with our lawyers and I think that such decisions will be made in the near future," he said.

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