Belarusians and Ukrainians can now obtain Russian citizenship easier

A federal law has come into force in Russia that abolished the mandatory Russian language examination for citizens of Belarus and Ukraine when they obtain Russian citizenship.

The law, which had been prepared since late 2019, was signed on March 19 and entered into force 90 days later, on June 17.

Previously, Belarusians and Ukrainians could get Russian citizenship only after an interview for language skills. Now, if they speak fluent Russian, are automatically recognized as native speakers of the Russian language, if they or their direct relatives live or used to live permanently in Russia, the USSR or the Russian Empire.

Earlier, sociologist Alena Artsemenka told Belsat that “there won’t be any increase in the outflow of Belarusians to Russia, as even now there are no obstacles for the citizens of our country to work in the Russian labor market.

“There are even no obstacles to get higher education in Russia on a free basis. Thus, the changes will not affect the situation,” she said.

In the opinion of a sociologist, this innovation is of no particular importance. The new law is explained by the geopolitical interests of the Kremlin, including the desire to somehow demonstrate leadership in the region.