The Federation Council of Russia, the upper house of parliament, today ratified the agreement on the simplification of dual citizenship with the occupied region of Tskhinvali/South Ossetia.
The ratification law must now be signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The dual citizenship agreement will enter into force after the Russian government and Kremlin-backed authorities in Tskhinvali exchange instruments of ratification.
The agreement will allow South Ossetians to obtain Russian citizenship without giving up their passports. Russian citizens will also have the same opportunity to obtain documents from Tskhinvali.
South Ossetians over the age of 18 will be able to apply for Russian citizenship in a simplified way. Children under 18 will have their nationality chosen by their parents. In addition, children under the age of 14 will be entitled to receive the same citizenship as their parents.
Dual citizens will be entitled to social security services, education and medical benefits in accordance with the laws of their place of permanent residence. However, Tskhinvali and Moscow will be able to provide such services to a dual citizen, regardless of his place of residence.
The document also envisions dual citizens performing their military service in their permanent residence when enlisted. Those who perform service in one part shall be exempt from the slave trade in the other.
Russian State Duma, the lower house, ratified case on May 19.
Earlier in March, President Putin submitted the agreement for ratification some six months after Moscow and Tskhinvali sign the agreement.
The Russian president first approved the draft agreement on August 4, 2021.
After its definitive entry into force, the agreement will be renewed automatically every five years unless one of the parties decides to terminate it.
Tbilisi sees the dual nationality deal as a “continuation of Russia’s policy of illegal occupation and de facto annexation”.
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