MOSCOW, October 3. /TASS/. The State Duma unanimously passed draft constitutional laws on accepting the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR, LPR), as well as the Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, into Russia in the first reading and in their entirety on Monday.
According to the laws, the residents of the new constituent entities are recognized as Russian citizens starting on September 30, the day the regions joined Russia, but they have a month to reject Russian citizenship. The documents specify that the residents of the new regions can acquire Russian citizenship by submitting applications and being sworn in as Russian citizens.
According to the documents, the DPR and the LPR will retain their status as republics after joining Russia and Russian will be their official language. The Kherson and Zaporozhye regions will also join Russia as constituent entities and will continue to be called "regions." The borders of the republics and regions will be the same as those that "existed on the day of their creation and accession into Russia." International accords specify that their borders with other countries will be regarded as Russia’s state borders. At the same time, under the constitutional laws, the DPR and the LPR are joining Russia under the 2014 borders enshrined in their constitutions.
A transition period will last between the day of the new regions’ accession to Russia until January 1, 2026. In particular, Russian citizens residing in the DPR, the LPR, the Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions will be guaranteed the right to work. In addition, documents on their education and civil status, as well as on their length of employment and the right to obtain pensions and social and medical aid, will be recognized. Branches of federal government agencies will be set up in the new republics and regions by June 1, 2023.
Currencies and budget
The Russian ruble will become the only currency used in the DPR, the LPR, the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions on January 1, 2023, but the use of the Ukrainian hryvnia will be permitted until the end of 2022. Besides, the new constituent entities will implement Russia’s budget legislation on January 1, 2023, while their budgets will be approved by December 15, 2022.
On new Russian entities
On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted draft federal constitutional laws on accepting new entities into Russia to the State Duma. The Russian Constitutional Court later approved the documents.
Putin and the heads of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, signed treaties on their accession to Russia at a Kremlin ceremony on September 30. The majority of their residents earlier voted to join Russia in referendums.