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Putin grants Ukrainian publicist, anchor Russian citizenship

The Russian president has signed a decree on granting citizenship to Anatoly Wasserman who was accused of separatism in his native Ukraine

MOSCOW, January 27. /TASS/. President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree on granting Russian citizenship to well-known publicist, anchor and engineer Anatoly Wasserman, accused of separatism in his native Ukraine, the legal information portal said on Wednesday.

Anatoly Wasserman told TASS he was happy to learn the news.

"The fact will not change my life significantly as I have lived in Moscow for 20 years, I have an apartment here and my work is connected with Russia," the publicist said.

"However, I am very pleased with this recognition of my merits by the president," he said.

Wasserman said in an interview with the Russian News Service that his new status did not oblige him to give up the Ukrainian citizenship.

"Of course, I will not use my Ukrainian citizenship. I am going to find an official way to renounce it," he said.

Last July Anatoly Wasserman said he would apply for the Russian citizenship if he was stripped of his Ukrainian passport.

In September, Ukraine launched a criminal probe against the publicist accusing him of separatism, and calls for overthrowing the ruling regime and changing the Constitution.

"Indeed, I am opposed to Ukraine’s state sovereignty and I do not think that it is possible to separate this part of Russia from other parts of the country," Wasserman said earlier. "If I am deprived of my Ukrainian citizenship, I will most likely become a citizen of Russia where I work for 20 years already."