Sunday, December 17, 2023

Stripping Immigrants of Russian Citizenship Likely to Create Problems for the Kremlin

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 13 – On the basis of an October 26 law, Moscow for the very first time ever has taken away from two immigrants the Russian citizenship they earlier acquired because of what officials say are crimes they have since committed, an action likely to have consequences both for immigrants and for Russians more generally.

            That action opens the way for their deportation under existing legislation (, but its consequences for immigrants and for Russians as a whole are likely to be far larger.

            On the one hand, this move is likely to make it more difficult for Russia to attract immigrants given that now it is clear, they may lose Russian citizenship even if they acquire it. And on the other, it raises the specter that in this area as in so many others, Moscow may move to strip the citizenship of other Russians if they act in ways the powers that be don’t approve of.

            Such an action would violate the Russian constitution, but that has seldom proved a limiting factor for the Putin administration. And together, this move against naturalized Russians will thus create problems for the Kremlin even if such moves are popular with some Russians who are increasingly xenophobic when it comes to immigrants. 

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