Russia facilitates voluntary resettlement procedure for Russian-speakers
22,264 Armenian nationals were granted Russian citizenship in 2016, which is by 3,611 more than in 2015 – RT reported with reference to the Russian Interior Ministry.
As reported, a growth in this rate has been conditioned by expansion of the state-run program for voluntary resettlement of compatriots living abroad.
Vladimir Mukommel, Doctor of Social Sciences and a member of the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Science, pointed out that Armenian citizens’ migration to Russia could be conditioned by Armenia’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). In the expert’s opinion, the number of people migrating to Russia will be increasing for a couple of years, and then it will start dropping, sine the number of those, willing to get Russian citizenship can’t be endless.
In 2016, there was also increase in the number of Russian citizenship seekers from other countries.
Ukrainian nationals are on top of the list-100, 696 people, which is by 49% more than in 2015 (67,400).
Kazakhstan was ranked the second: 37,837 people, in 2015- 32, 070.
Uzbekistan was the third: 23,216 citizens, in 2015-22,557.
The total of 265,319 people were granted Russian citizenship in 2016, which is by 55,520 more than in 2015.
Aram Safaryan, the Head of the Integration and Development NGO, coordinator of the Eurasian Expert Club, told Tert.am news agency that it didn’t happen for the first time and ‘over the past 20 years, Russia has been continuously facilitating the naturalization procedure, especially for the Russians living abroad, in the hope of integration of new supporters and sympathizers in the world.”
In Aram Safaryans opinion, holding Russian citizenship doesn’t necessarily imply living in the country: a citizen may continue living in Armenia and, at the same time, be a carrier of Russian interests. However, in 5-10 years, as the economic situation in Armenia improves, many will repatriate.
On March 12, Russian State Duma member, Natalia Poklonskaya, jointly with a group of MPs, proposed a bill on obtaining Russian citizenship, under which it could be granted in case of knowledge of the Russian language and links with the USSR and the Russian Empire. If the bill is passed, all former USSR citizens and their relatives will be able to get Russian citizenship. Russian State Duma Committee on Nationalities has already approved the bill. After the bill takes its effect, the number of individuals seeking Russian citizenship will presumably increase.