Moscow ready to help Belarusians become native Russian speakers

On October 17, the Russian government discussed a draft bill on recognizing Ukrainian- and Belarusian-born citizenship seekers native Russian speakers without being interviewed, Interfax Ukraine reports.

The corresponding amendments may be made to Article 331 of the law “On Citizenship of the Russian Federation.”

“The draft federal law provides for the possibility that the commission declares the citizens of Belarus and Ukraine native Russian speakers without interviewing them on condition that they are fluent in the Russian language during asking to recognize them native Russian speakers and if there are grounds specified in Article 331-1 of the Federal law “On citizenship of the Russian Federation,” the statement reads.

Currently, the seekers having relatives who are permanent residents or previously lived in the territory of the Russian Federation (or the Russian Empire; or the Soviet Union) can be considered a native Russian speaker after successfully passing an interview.

Russia’s Interior Ministry put forward the initiative to excuse citizens of Ukraine and Belarus from the language assessment when they apply for Russian citizenship in April, 2018.

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