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17 April 2020, 14:12

Society

Russian Duma approves passport fee exemptions for LPR and DPR residents

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LUGANSK, April 17 (Lugansk Media Centre) - Russian lawmakers have passed the bill exempting Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics residents who seek Russian citizenship from paying the state fee.

According to the Duma's website the law has been endorsed in the first reading and in as a whole.

Earlier LPR and DPR residents had to pay state fee of 3.5 thousand rubles.

"As we all understand, Donbass is in a challenging situation right now due to the continuous shelling from the Ukrainian side, and economic, political, transport blockades. These are the reasons behind economic difficulties they face," said the State Duma deputy Andrey Kozenko who initiate the bill.

"My colleagues from the Russia-Donbass Integration Committee and I often visit the Republics and talk to the locals, and we know firsthand of the low incomes. But people remain optimistic. They see that Russia has not abandoned them and supports them in the most difficult circumstances. There is a task to raise salaries and pensions to the average Russian level, but we must support the Republics now," he said.

"Millions of DPR and LPR residents will be able to acquire the citizenship without significant financial expenses."

Meanwhile, the Lugansk People’s Republic Interior Ministry public relations office reported that as of March 18, more than 90,000 residents had obtained fast track Russian citizenship.

On April, 24, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree easing citizenship rules for residents of the Lugansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic. LPR Head Leonid Pasechnik thanked Russia for this move and ordered the ministries concerned to create the necessary conditions for processing applications. The first center for LPR residents seeking Russian citizenship opened in Lugansk on May 6. Currently such centers operate in all towns and districts.

The Interior Ministry launched an electronic queue for LPR and Russian Federation passport applicants as well as a call-center for residents to check the document status. Electronic queue registration for LPR and Russian passports and fingerprinting is available in all LPR towns and districts.

The first LPR residents received Russian passports under a simplified procedure on June 14, 2019. Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev said that as of December 2019, some 125,000 DPR and LPR residents had been granted fast track Russian citizenship.

LuganskMediaCentre — 17 April — Lugansk