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Duma faction leaders originate bill to strip convicted terrorists of Russian citizenship

MOSCOW, April 18./TASS/. The leaders of all four State Duma lower house’s factions - Vladimir Vassilyev (United Russia), Gennady Zyuganov (Communist Party of the Russian Federation), Vladimir Zhirinovsky (Liberal Democratic Party) and Sergey Mironov (Just Russia Party) have brought in a bill making it possible to strip convicted terrorists of their Russian citizenship.

"The bill envisages amendments to Article 22 of the Law on Citizenship, under which conviction for a terrorism-related crime under the court sentence that has taken effect will constitute grounds for revoking the decision on acquisition of the Russian citizenship," the explanatory note said.

The current legislation does not envisage this, parliamentarians say. They believe these amendments will come as additional measures "to protect citizens against terrorism and will help avert terrorist crimes from people who have been granted the Russian citizenship," the note said.

A decision to grant the Russian citizenship may be reversed if an individual to whom it was granted has joined the Islamic State terrorist group outlawed in Russia, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with the Mir 24 TV channel last week.

"In line with the Russian constitution, we cannot strip anyone of their citizenship. However, we may cancel relevant decisions that served as a basis for obtaining the Russian citizenship. We will consult with our lawyers and I think that such decisions will be made in the near future," he said.

The statement was made when the Russian president commented on a similar initiative in Kazakhstan.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said last Tuesday that the country’s citizens will be stripped of their citizenship for taking part in extremist organizations. "This is a necessary measure. About 500-600 our nationals are there (in extremist organizations abroad - TASS), and up to 5,000 in total, maybe even more, from the former Soviet Union countries," Nazarbayev said.