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    Russia....Declare Dual Citizenship

    I'll make this one a sticky so nobody who comes under this new law misses it..





    (Reuters) - Parliament approved legislation on Tuesday requiring Russians to declare dual citizenship or face criminal prosecution after President Vladimir Putin endorsed the measure as part of a more nationalist course taken since his annexation of Crimea.

    Adopted in the crucial second of three readings in the lower house, the bill will impose a fine of up to 200,000 rubles ($5,800) or 400 hours of community service on Russians who have citizenship in another country and fail to tell the authorities.

    Critics said the law would place people with two passports under suspicion and expressed fear its aim was to whip up nationalist fervor by hinting dissenters are in the service of foreign governments.

    Putin, who has often accused Western governments of meddling in Russia's affairs, supported the idea in March by hinting at alleged divided allegiances among dual citizens, saying: "We have every right to know who lives in Russia and what they do."

    The bill was submitted by Andrei Lugovoi, a nationalist lawmaker and former KGB officer. "Obviously having dual citizenship reduces the significance of Russian nationality and respect for one's country," he said on the sidelines of the vote in parliament on Tuesday, according to Russian news agencies.

    "This is particularly important in light of recent geopolitical events, when Russia continues to come under aggressive pressure from the West," he was quoted as saying.

    The United States and European Union have imposed sanctions on officials, lawmakers and companies close to Putin to punish him for the annexation of Crimea and what Western governments say is support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

    The disagreement over Ukraine has brought relations between Russia and the West to a post-Cold War low.

    The bill was supported by 429 deputies in the 450-seat State Duma lower house, with only three votes against. With the Kremlin's backing, it is virtually guaranteed passage in a third reading in the State Duma and a vote in the upper house.

    The law includes an exemption for Russians with dual citizenship who live abroad and for residents of Crimea, where Russia is busily issuing passports.

    Svetlana Gannushkina, a prominent Russia campaigners for refugee and migrant rights, said the legislation would put people with dual citizenship "under suspicion" and expose them to pressure from the authorities.

    "It will prompt people to hide their second citizenship in order to minimize their relations with the state," she said.

    There is no official data available on the number of Russian citizens who also hold foreign passports.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/...A4J0MJ20140520

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    It looks like another trip to the FMS for some of us who have Russian family members who hold ''Dual Citizenship''...

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    Russia is about to criminalize failure to declare dual citizenship in what lawmakers say is a bid to crack down on the "fifth column" and the fifth column is duly scared.

    Exposing holders of multiple passports may be the first step to banning dual citizenship, said a holder of U.S. and Russian passports who currently lives on the U.S.' east coast.

    "I am just afraid I will not be able to see my friends and family," she said. She asked for her name to be withheld from print for fear of getting into trouble with the Russian bureaucracy.

    A bill fast-tracked by the State Duma makes not reporting another citizenship to migration authorities punishable with a fine of up to 200,000 rubles ($5,800) or up to 400 hours of community service.

    The bill's authors say it is a preemptive measure against possible subversive action by dissidents in the face of Moscow's deteriorating relations with the West.

    But the legislation is borderline unconstitutional and discriminative, targeting thousands of politically uninvolved citizens in a fit of state paranoia straight out of Soviet textbooks, the bill's critics say.

    "This is just the state meddling in personal affairs through laws widely seen as repressive," said Svetlana Gannushkina of rights group Memorial.

    Presidential Approval
    Holders of multiple citizenships found themselves in the legislative crosshairs in March, when the idea of tracking them was endorsed by President Vladimir Putin.

    "We have the right and a need to know who is living in Russia and what they do here," Putin said at the time.

    The bill on the issue was rapidly penned by Andrei Lugovoi of pro-Kremlin nationalists LDPR, a former Kremlin guard who earned notoriety in the West when he was fingered as the main suspect in the polonium poisoning of KGB defector and Putin critic Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006. Lugovoi denied involvement.

    The bill breezed through both houses of parliament within six weeks and is pending a presidential signature.

    Constitution and Discrimination
    Lugovoi's bill is replete with questionable legal nuances, said Alexander Zakharov, a partner at law firm Paragon Advice Group.

    Holding a foreign passport is legal in Russia, according to the constitution, but the draft law implies that it can be an offense, Zakharov said by telephone Wednesday.

    Article 6 of the Constitution, which covers dual citizenship, contains no bans and says only that Russians with foreign passports are viewed domestically as Russian citizens.

    Lugovoi's bill also discriminates against certain groups of citizens, said opposition lawmaker Dmitry Gudkov, who opposed the legislation.

    Under the law, only people who live in Russia have to declare their second passport to the authorities, while passport holders permanently residing outside the country are exempt from it.

    Foreign Agents Among Us
    The bill's authors do not deny that the law is politically motivated.

    Lugovoi did not return a request for comment from The Moscow Times, but cites on his website the West-endorsed fifth column among the liberals as the law's target.

    "Russia's enemies are constantly looking for weak spots in our ranks," Lugovoi said in a post in April. He said the government's critics are seeking to disrupt normal life in Russia, possibly supported or guided by the West.

    The Kremlin has mounted a crackdown on political opponents following mass opposition protests from 2011 to 2013 targeting opposition leaders and independent NGOs.

    Special attention has been given to foreign affiliation: NGOs involved in vaguely defined "political activity" that receive foreign funding have been forcibly labeled "foreign agents," a derogative tag from Soviet times.

    Isolationism is also on the rise: Officials and legislators have been banned from owing assets though not real estate outside the country, and foreign travel has been prohibited for some 4 million civil servants out of a total population of 143 million.

    "The trend today is toward repressive legislation," said Gannushkina of Memorial, a prominent NGO that was also ruled a "foreign agent."

    Disloyal by Default?
    The problem is that there is no proof that the majority of foreign passport holders are in any way disloyal to Russia, Gannushkina said.

    "These people are suspected of disloyalty by default," she said.

    Even Lugovoi conceded dual citizenship holders are more likely to be businessmen than political activists, though he still insisted obtaining a foreign passport was a "betrayal of national interests."

    There may be rather a lot of traitors around, however. Russia only has dual citizenship agreements, under which both countries recognize both a person's nationalities, with two countries Turkmenistan and Tajikistan but Russians appear to hold passports across the United Nations membership roster. No comprehensive statistics exist, but in a telling example, Finnish authorities reported 21,000 Russian-Finnish passport holders as of 2013. When there is no dual citizenship agreement in place, each country regards the holder solely as a citizen of their state.

    The Federal Migration Service said 73,000 Russians received foreign passports in 2013-2014, though it gave no breakdown by country. The Russophone diaspora is estimated at up to 30 million worldwide, including more than 3 million in the U.S. and up to 2 million in Germany, though it is unclear how many have Russian citizenship.

    Russia's current rules on the issue are softer than in many countries, including Japan, India, the Netherlands and Ukraine, where dual citizenship is banned under all or most circumstances. Having more than one passport is, however, not forbidden in the U.S, Britain, Australia, Canada and France, among others.

    Armies of Traitors
    The main concern expressed over the new law is that the authorities' ultimate goal is to ban dual citizenship, not just expose it.

    That idea was already floated by Lugovoi, though Gudkov said it was unlikely because it would affect many in the Russian ruling elite, where sending wives and children abroad to places like Nice, France or Miami, U.S. is common practice.

    But Gannushkina said it was an inevitable step, given "repressive" state policies.

    Both Gannushkina and Gudkov said even the current legislation could prompt an exodus of holders of multiple passports.

    That sentiment was shared by people with dual citizenship interviewed by The Moscow Times, none of whom professed to political activity.

    "I still love Russia. Sh*t happens here, but there is also a lot of amazing things about the country," said Alina, a British-Russian citizen working for a foreign company in Moscow who asked that her name be changed to protect her identity.

    But she said she would prefer to avoid declaring her second passport and would not rule out moving abroad in order to do so.

    The situation reminded her of political pressure along Soviet templates, something she wants nothing to do with, Alina said.

    "At some point you just realize your country is not quite yours anymore," she said.

    http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/a...rs/501163.html

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    One more atrocity of bloody rotten regime!
    All the world's Kremlin,
    And all the men and women merely agents

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    Quote Originally Posted by FatAndy View Post
    One more atrocity of bloody rotten regime!
    I know, it's getting crazy isn't it?

    It's a good job I love Russian bureaucracy otherwise I would have packed my bags a long time ago..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judge View Post
    I know, it's getting crazy isn't it?

    It's a good job I love Russian bureaucracy otherwise I would have packed my bags a long time ago..
    Well, if you order RF passport, internal or zagran, you point if you have other citizenship, in the submission form (anketa), by definition. So I don't understand why these "aktivists" whine. Though they always whine, it's their modus vivendi.
    All the world's Kremlin,
    And all the men and women merely agents

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