Putin just signed a new law, making it easier to immigrate to Russia. Also, in the near future, Russia may advocate dual-citizenship, no longer requiring immigrants to renounce citizenship in their former home countries.
Putin is making it easier to move to Russia. He just signed a law to simplify the process, and additional improvements are planned for the near future. While the initial changes are focused on helping Russian expats make the move, some of the improvements should benefit everyone who immigrates to Russia.
In related news, Patriarch Kirill — the head of the Russian Orthodox Church — recently said the Church may be able to provide immigration assistance for Orthodox Christians who are going through the process.
The following news report discusses how the immigration process is being simplified in Russia:
We will start with the President's statement:
"Russia will decisively defend the rights and the interests of its citizens abroad amid the rising tensions in the world."
Vladimir Putin made the statement during his speech at the Expatriate Compatriots International Congress in Moscow. The Congress gathered the representatives of the Russian expat community from almost 100 countries.
We will ask our correspondent Darya Koslova about the discussed topics. She is live with our studio again. Darya, please tell us what else has the president spoken about and what happens at the forum now.
First of all, they discuss immigration and Russian naturalization issues. Vladimir Putin, during his speech, announced that he has signed today the new version of the concept of the state immigration policy. The goal of this new version is to create opportune conditions for getting permanent residency in Russia. Vladimir Putin noted the necessity of disposing of the bureaucratic barriers, and almost everyone has spoken about them today in the frameworks of the forum. Often, it takes years to receive Russian citizenship even for the ones who speak Russian or whose ancestors were born in the USSR or the Russian Empire territory.
Today, I signed the new version of the concept of the state immigration policy. One of its goals is to create more comfortable conditions for getting permanent residency in Russia for compatriots from abroad.
Another goal is to create clear rules of entrance and receiving the right of residence, work, and obtaining Russian citizenship. Many problems and bureaucratic barriers are in this sphere, which the compatriots have fairly spoken about, have been left behind. At least, I hope that there has been an attempt to leave them and de-bureaucratize the system. We should see how it works in practice. And we should move forward in this direction. Besides, we'll continue to improve the program of voluntary resettling of the compatriots to Russia.
We see that the number of those who want to return to their homeland has been rising over the last months. We will continue to make the process of adaptation easier, and simplify the procedures. Together with the regional and local authorities, ventures, non-governmental organizations, we will continue to work on the improvement of living standards for resettlers, create new workplaces for them, and improve conditions for running a business.
The Russian compatriots taking part in the Congress report that the Russian Immigration Agencies often demand documents which were lost dozens of years ago and are impossible to be restored. Now, both the legislative and executive branch agencies are working to change this situation.
Earlier, we spoke with the Chairman of the Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosachev, and he pointed out, in particular, that in the near future they may cancel the so-called certificate of "renunciation of citizenship" which is currently demanded by the Russian Federal Migration Agency. But many countries in the world do not issue this certificate at all. Let's listen to Konstantin Kosachev talking about other actions that the Russian Federal authorities are going to make.
There are three main focus areas: The first is the maximum simplifying of the bureaucratic procedures for receiving Russian citizenship for our compatriots, despite their current residence.
The second is leaving behind the bureaucratic procedures — at least the ones regarding language proficiency — without the tests, checks, and certifications, for the residents of countries where Russian is still the language of the natives — for example: Ukraine, Belarus, and many other countries of the former Soviet Union.
And the third very important legislative innovation: The president of the Russian Federation is granted the right to set the regimes of a faster or completely simplified citizenship receiving procedure in emergency situations when our compatriots are in trouble.
The Russian Congress of Compatriots is held for the first time since 2015. Naturally, the situation abroad has changed dramatically over the last three years. One of the main subjects today was the increased pressure on the Russian-speaking populations abroad.
An information war is being waged against the Russian media and education in Russian — for example: the new Education Law in Ukraine, which was adopted last year. Currently, the Verkhovna Rada is discussing a law that would ensure the state language status of the Ukrainian language, which implies the displacement of the Russian language even from the communication and service sectors.
During his speech, Vladimir Putin said that cultural heritage monuments are being demolished in Eastern Europe. Besides, many point out the need to deal with the problem of the non-citizens, the Russian-speaking population of the Baltic states.
Let's listen to Vladimir Putin's comment on the matter:
The international situation is far from simple. Tensions and unpredictability are growing. The foundations of international law are being eroded, and long-term agreements between states are crumbling. Russophobia and regrettably other forms of extreme aggressive nationalism are being employed.
There is no concealing the fact that history is being rewritten. A war on memorials and the Russian language is underway in Ukraine, the Baltics, and several other countries.
People are being intimidated and even terrorized. A natural desire to preserve one's ethnic roots is denounced as a crime and a form of separatism. Freedom of speech and the right to keep up one's traditions are defied. Some of our compatriots have been denied the right to practice their professions for political reasons.
Many people are feeling the consequences of this harsh pressure. We will firmly defend your rights and interest using all the available bilateral and multilateral mechanisms at our disposal.
We have talked about the main obstacles the Russian media encounter abroad, with the Editor-in-Chief of RT, Margarita Simoyan. She said that, currently, it's difficult even to find new employees. Moreover, it's even harder to protect the interests of those people who defend Russian interests abroad, and to defend their position in the foreign media.
Margarita Simoyan, RT Editor-in-Chief:
We must not give up and succumb to the dictate of the majority. I know how hard it can be. It's especially hard in the Baltics where people hired by our Sputnik [News Agency] get interrogated, bothered by law enforcement, and threatened. That's tough, not just psychologically, but physically as well. You know what's happening to Kirill Vyshinsky, our colleague who was arrested six months ago. He's currently in pretrial custody, charged with horrible things. He faces up to 20 years in prison just for doing his work.
In total, more than 700 people participate in the World Congress of Compatriots, including more than 400 delegates from almost 100 countries. They represent the fourth-largest diaspora in the world, the Russian-speaking diaspora which includes 20 to 30 million people according to various estimates. The two-day Congress will end tomorrow, on Thursday.
Thank you. Daria Kozlova with the details from the World Compatriot Congress which opened today in Moscow.
English language transcription by Dormition Professional Services.