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Putin Grants Russian Citizenship To Ukrainian-German Soccer Player

Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved giving a Russian passport to soccer player Roman Neustadter, who was born in Ukraine, so he can play for Russia at the Euro 2016 finals.

Putin's decree, posted on a government information website on May 25, gives Neustadter, 28, Russian citizenship and authorizes giving him a passport.

Neustadter, who has been living in Germany since he was a child and has played for Germany's youth teams, made it clear last year that he wished to play for the Russian national team. His father was a Soviet soccer player.

To receive a Russian passport, Neustadter recently renounced his German citizenship.

Russian head coach Leonid Slutsky already has included Neustadter in his squad for next month's Euro 2016 tournament in France, where Russia will play in Group B along with England, Slovakia, and Wales.

He can now play for Russia in a friendly with the Czech Republic on June 1 as well.

Based on reporting by Reuters, TASS, and Interfax