MOSCOW, April 16. /TASS/. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has refrained from comment on rumored plans for granting Russian citizenship to the residents of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics under a simplified procedure.
"No, we are unprepared for making any comments on this score," Peskov said when asked about reports by the RBC and other media the Russian presidential staff was considering fast-tracked procedure for granting citizenship to the population of Donbass areas beyond Kiev’s control.
Peskov attributes such publications to the Russian media’s exaggerated interest towards this theme. When asked for his personal opinion of the possibility of issuing Russian passports to Donbass people, Peskov replied, "My personal opinion does not matter. Moreover, I’m not in the position to express it."
At the end of March Russia enacted legislation to empower the president to determine for humanitarian purposes the categories of foreign citizens and stateless persons having the right to obtain Russian citizenship in accordance with fast-tracked procedures. Under the law on citizenship the simplified rules do not require a residence permit and continued stay in Russian territory for a period of five years, which are mandatory under the standard rules.