SIMFEROPOL, October 1. /TASS/. Some 40,000 people with Ukrainian registration stand in line in Crimea to obtain Russian citizenship and passports, the head of the regional department of Russia’s Federal Migration Service (FMS) said Wednesday.
“There are a lot of them. We studied the lists - there are more than 40,000 of them,” Pyotr Yarosh said at a meeting of the Crimean State Council’s presidium.
Yarosh complained of red tape when people applying for Russian citizenship have to prove their right to that citizenship in court and stand in different lines several times.
Acting head of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov earlier pledged to fight corruption in the FMS operation.
The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February, when ultranationalist rhetoric could be heard from representatives of the junta.
Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11. They held a referendum on March 16, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deals March 18.
Work to integrate the Crimean Peninsula into Russia’s economic, financial, credit, legal, state power, military conscription and infrastructure systems is actively underway now that Crimea has become part of Russia.
In the Soviet Union, Crimea used to be part of Russia until 1954, when Nikita Khrushchev, the first secretary of the USSR’s Communist Party, transferred it to Ukraine's jurisdiction as a gift.