Putin Greenlights Dual Citizenship with Tskhinvali

Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved the draft agreement allowing dual citizenship with occupied Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, and simplified procedures for South Ossetians to obtain Russian nationality.

The August 4 presidential order instructs the Russian Foreign Ministry to sign the agreement, allowing citizens of one party to acquire the citizenship of the other without renouncing their passports.

The draft agreement allows persons with dual citizenship to do the military service in a place of permanent residence at the time of conscription and exempts those with completed military service in one party from draft in the other.

Putin’s order authorizes the Russian MFA to make changes “not of a fundamental nature” to the draft document.

Kremlin-backed Tskhinvali leader Anatoly Bibilov said the agreement will make the life easier for South Ossetian residents, particularly solving problems of obtaining Russian citizenship linked with the opportunities of provision of social security and pensions for Russian nationals.

Bibilov said the document is expected to be approved by the end of the year.

The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said today the approval of the draft agreement is “a continuation of policy of unlawful occupation and de-facto annexation of Georgia’s Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions by Moscow.”

According to the Georgian MFA, Russia started “unlawful, forced passportization” of Georgia’s occupied territories early in 2000s and attempted “without success” to justify the military aggression against Georgia in 2008 with the respective “illegitimate process.”

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