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State Duma approves law on Russian naturalization oath

The very same law removes bars for Ukrainians wishing to receive Russian citizenship

MOSCOW, July 19. /TASS/. The State Duma has approved the draft law that imposes an oath for receiving Russian citizenship, following deliberations at the third, and final, reading. The law also sets out terms for withdrawal of decisions to grant Russian citizenship to people convicted of terrorism and extremism.

Russian naturalization oath

The adopted law focuses on the norms for taking the naturalization oath. The corresponding amendment was adopted by leaders of all parliamentary factions and Chairman of the Duma Committee for State Construction and Legislation Pavel Krashennikov following the work of the special commission in the State Duma. The amendments are to be introduced to Article 11 "On the citizenship of the Russian Federation."

According to Krashennikov, the text of the oath is introduced in the law and is defined to be obligatory for individuals over 18 who wish to become Russian citizens. "I, (surname, name, middle name), swear that, by taking the citizenship of the Russian Federation, I will observe the Constitution and laws of the Russian Federation, and the rights and freedoms of its citizens; that I will fulfill my duties as a citizen of the Russian Federation for the welfare of the state and society; that I will protect the freedom and independence of the Russian Federation; and that I will be loyal to Russia and respect its culture, history and traditions," the naturalization oath says.

According to the amendments, the procedure for taking the naturalization oath will be defined by the Russian president. A refusal to take the oath constitutes grounds for withdrawal of the decision to grant the individual Russian citizenship.

Simplified naturalization procedure for Ukrainians

The very same law removes bars for Ukrainians wishing to receive Russian citizenship. In particular, the amendments define the application order (without presenting confirming documents from appropriate national authorities) in case of renunciation of Ukrainian citizenship to receive a residence permit and a passport in Russia.

"Renunciation of the current Ukrainian citizenship is done by sending an application on the renunciation of citizenship to an appropriate authority of this state. A notarized copy of the application is a document that confirms the renunciation by a Ukrainian citizen of his or her citizenship," the amendment of the second reading says.

According to Krashennikov, "it is impossible to get a document [confirming citizenship renunciation] from Ukraine," and noted that "it is a well-known fact." "A lot of people are waiting for their fates to be determined," he added.

Withdrawal of decision to grant citizenship for individuals convicted of terrorism

The law also preserves the conceptual provisions regarding the withdrawal of decisions to grant Russian citizenship to individuals convicted of terrorist and extremist activities. "The draft law sets out that if reception of citizenship was aimed against the Russian constitutional order and the individual violated the obligation to observe Russian laws by committing a terrorist- or extremist-related crime, it is interpreted in this case as presenting false facts. The court’s ruling in effect on the specified

crimes will constitute grounds for withdrawal, which serves as a basis for reversal of the decision to grant citizenship of the Russian Federation," Krashennikov explained.

According to Krashennikov, children and spouses of criminals will not be held responsible for such crimes if they were not accomplices. "That is, decisions to grant Russian citizenship will not be withdrawn from them," the committee’s chairman noted.

In this respect, responsibility concerns not only commission of a crime, but its preparation as well. "It concerns the following actions: commission of a terrorist act or an international terrorist act, assistance in the commission of terrorist activities or public appeals through mass media and the Internet to commit it; organization and participation in a terrorist association or terrorist organization, training for committing terrorist activities, hostage taking, terrorism-related hijacking of aircraft, vessel or a plane, organization of an illegal criminal gang or participation in it, sabotage, organization of activities for an extremist organization or community, and financing extremist activities," the committee’s head enumerated.

The vast enough list of crimes that lead to withdrawal of the decision to grant Russian citizenship aims to extend possibilities for preventive activities by law enforcement agencies to counter terrorist threats, Krashennikov concluded.

Should the law finally be adopted by the Federation Council and signed by the Russian president, the new norms will come in effect starting from September 1, 2017.