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Bill to strip terrorists of Russian citizenship likely to be passed — senators

April 19, 6:45 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The initiative was first voiced by Russian President Vladimir Putin last week

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MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. A bill allowing to strip convicted terrorists of their Russian citizenship is likely to be passed by the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, but its future use requires a careful consideration, members of the parliament’s upper house told TASS.

According to the explanatory note, 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. It was submitted to the State Duma on Tuesday and the lower chamber may give its first reading to the bill in the second half of May.

According to Alexei Alexandrov, the first deputy chairman of the Federation Council’s Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State-Building, the initiative is likely to be endorsed, because it is aimed at the struggle against terrorism and to protect people.

"As a general direction in the legislative development, such initiative may be passed, but it requires further discussions, checking of all variants of putting it into practice," the senator said.

He added that the Interior Ministry, which is in charge of the immigration policies, should also comment on "how they see the implementation" of this initiative.

According to Alexandrov, the state should decide on what should be done to those who lose their citizenship as a result.

Frants Klintsevich, the first deputy chairman of the chamber’s Committee on Defense and Security, said he had no principal objections to the idea of the bill. "As far as nuances are concerned, they can always be dealt with during the process of adoption," he said.

"In my view, the main message of this bill is not to toughen punishment for terrorism-related crimes. It is to demonstrate Russia’s total rejection of such actions in the political, moral, psychological and any other aspect and to show our firm determination to counter them in a most resolute manner," he added.

The leaders of all four State Duma’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 initiative was first voiced by Russian President Vladimir Putin 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," he said.

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