Russia has made it easy for citizens of Ukraine and Belarus to obtain the status of a native speaker of the Russian language. The corresponding bill was adopted by the State Duma in the third, final reading.
According to the new law, Ukrainian and Belarusian citizens who are fluent in Russian are recognized as native speakers of the Russian language without prior interviews when applying for this status. It is specified that the applicants themselves or their direct relatives permanently reside or previously lived in the territory of Russia, or in the territory of the USSR and the Russian Empire within the state border of the Russian Federation.
Obtaining the status of a native speaker of the Russian language gives the right to obtain Russian citizenship by a simplified procedure.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs is empowered to determine, in agreement with the Ministry of Education, common criteria for recognizing a foreign citizen or stateless person as a native speaker of the Russian language.
Earlier, the law determined that for foreign citizens or stateless persons to obtain the status of a native speaker of the Russian language is possible only according to the results of an interview conducted by a special commission.