Duma Backs Bill Forcing Russians To Disclose Foreign Passports
Published: May 16, 2014 (Issue # 1810)
The State Duma has passed at its first reading a bill that would require Russians to report any citizenship they might hold in another country — a measure criticized by some but backed by President Vladimir Putin.
The bill, which would criminalize any failure to report dual citizenship, passed the initial approval on Wednesday, and lawmakers have three days to work on proposed amendments, a note on the State Duma's website said, without providing details.
Failure to declare a second citizenship could result in fines of up to 200,000 rubles ($5,700), or up to 400 hours of community service, according to the draft bill.
Critics have denounced the bill as legally flawed, suggesting it is part of a supposed Kremlin attempt to keep tabs on potentially disloyal Russians.
The Cabinet have also voiced their disapproval, with Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko saying last month that the bill contradicted an article in the Constitution that states Russia views its citizens as only its own citizens, and that officially proclaiming another citizenship runs counter to that definition.
Putin voiced his support for the proposed measure earlier this spring.