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10 march

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Vladimir Shaposhnikov: «Requirements for Russian native speaker status should stay high»

Vladimir Shaposhnikov: «Requirements for Russian native speaker status should stay high»

On March 9, the RF Civic Chamber discussed the topical issue of legal regulation and practice of interviewing foreign citizens or stateless persons to grant them a status of native speaker of the Russian language.

Vladimir Shaposhnikov, member of the RF Civic Chamber Commission on Public Diplomacy and Support for Compatriots Living Abroad, said that the State Duma had received a draft federal law No. 69201-7 “On Amending the Federal Law No. 62-FL of May 31, 2002 “On the Citizenship of the Russian Federation" and Federal Law No. 115-FL of July 25, 2002, "On the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in the Russian Federation" regarding Russian language native speakers, which was developed by Konstantin Zatulin, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee for the CIS and relations with Russian nationals abroad.

According to Zatulin, the amendments are to bring the legislation into compliance with the presidential assignment of December 12, 2012 about an accelerated procedure for granting Russian citizenship to compatriots, Russian language native speakers and persons with Russian cultural identity, direct descendants of those born in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union.

One of the amendments is in the definition of “Russian language native speaker" given in the Law "On Citizenship of the Russian Federation" (in part 1 Article 31.1 "Recognition of a foreign citizen or stateless person as a native speaker of the Russian language"). It is intended to give the right to be interviewed by a commission on recognition of a foreign citizen or stateless person as a native speaker of the Russian language not only to those who live in Russia or have ascendants who permanently or previously resided in Russia, the Russian Empire or the USSR, as stated in the law at the current moment, but also to those who were born or have a ascendants born in Russia.

The proposed amendment removes the territory restriction for Russian language native speakers which would give an opportunity to people from historical Russian lands to get an interview with a commission on recognition of a foreign citizen or stateless person as a native speaker of the Russian language. It would allow claiming the status of Russian language native speaker in contrast to the current situation when people are deprived of this opportunity.

Vladimir Shaposhnikov noted that if we deal with the citizenship obtaining in general, "the state is now acting fairly clear and systematically, but some legal positions require adjustments".

"Considering the number of people wishing to obtain Russian citizenship, we should not distribute it recklessly. Certainly, rules for an interview need to be established, and requirements for obtaining the Russian language native speaker status should stay high", — Shaposhnikov emphasized.

Concluding the event, Shaposhnikov asked participants to forward their proposals regarding the draft law, which will soon be integrated into a single document and sent to the relevant State Duma Committee for consideration.

RF Civic Chamber Media–Office

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