ROSTOV-ON-DON, June 24. /TASS/. Over 150,000 Russian nationals who live in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics will be able to take part in the nationwide Russian vote on the constitutional amendments in the Rostov Region, First Deputy Chairman of the Russian State Duma (lower house) Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots, Viktor Volodatsky, told TASS.
"Today more than 150,000 citizens are willing to vote on introducing amendments to the Constitution. Since June 25 and until July 1, this number of citizens will vote. There are no difficulties with crossing the border for Russian citizens, they will be able to move freely," the lawmaker said.
The Russian citizens, who are currently in the CIS and non-CIS states, will be able to take part in the nationwide Russian vote on the constitutional amendments, Volodatsky said, noting that they will go to the consulates.
The citizens of the Donbass republics have a chance to cross the border and vote in the Rostov Region at the ballot stations opened near the border in Novoshakhstinsk, Donetsk and Gukovo. Many of them go to work to the Rostov Region and for family reasons and will be able to vote, he noted.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on holding national popular vote on amendments to the Constitution on July 1.
In January 2020, in his message to the Federal Assembly Putin suggested introducing a number of amendments to the fundamental law that would better meet the modern realities and consolidate the achieved results. After a special group discussed the proposed amendments the State Duma on March 11 adopted the presidential bill in the final reading. Later in the day the bill was approved by the Federation Council and supported by the legislative assemblies of all of Russia’s territories. The Federation Council considered the results on March 14 and sent its resolution to the president.
Originally Putin signed a decree to hold the national popular vote on the amendments on April 22. However, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic Putin addressed the nation on television on March 25 to say that the voting had to be postponed. The amendments will take effect only if they are approved in a plebiscite.
On April 24, 2019, Putin signed a decree enabling people living in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics to receive Russian citizenship under a simplified procedure. According to the document, the decision was made "in order to protect human rights and freedoms" based on universally accepted international laws. The first passports were issued in Russia’s Rostov Region on July 14. More than 180,000 citizens of the Donbass republics have received Russian citizenship under a simplified procedure and another 100,000 applications are being processed.