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Russia Moves To Criminalize Undeclared Dual Citizenship

Russia's parliament has given preliminary approval to legislation requiring Russians to declare dual citizenship or face criminal prosecution.

The State Duma on May 20 overwhelmingly backed the legislation in the second of three readings.

The bill would impose a fine of up to 200,000 rubles ($5,800) or 400 hours of community service on Russians who have citizenship in another country and fail to tell the authorities.

It was submitted by Andrei Lugovoi, a former KGB officer, who said that "dual citizenship reduces the significance of Russian nationality and respect for one's country."

He also said it was "particularly important" as Russia faces "aggressive pressure from the West."

Rights campaigner Svetlana Ganushkina said the legislation would put people with dual citizenship "under suspicion" and expose them to pressure from the authorities.

Based on reporting by Reuters and ITAR-TASS