MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a new decree fast-tracking Russian citizenship for some Ukrainians despite concerns the move will exacerbate the crisis between the countries.Under a decree published Wednesday (May 1), several categories of Ukrainian nationals will have the right to a simplified nationality process including those who already have Russian residence permits.Other categories include Ukrainian citizens who were born in Crimea but left the peninsula before Russia annexed it in March, 2014.The fast-track procedure is implemented to protect "rights and human and civil freedoms", said the decree which Putin signed on Monday.The move comes after a comedian with no political experience, Volodymyr Zelensky, won a landslide victory in presidential elections in Ukraine last month.The Kremlin has not congratulated Zelensky while Putin said Moscow was thinking of making it easier for all Ukrainians to obtain Russian citizenship.Putin had already signed a … [Read more...] about Putin fast tracks Russian citizenship for Ukrainians
SAINT PETERSBURG: Some 2,000 anti-Kremlin protesters joined May Day rallies in Saint Petersburg, chanting slogans critical of President Vladimir Putin, as police arrested more than 30 people.Protesters included supporters of top opposition leader Alexei Navalny while several thousand members of the ruling party, Communists and other activists also turned out in the centre of Russia's second city.Anti-Kremlin marchers held up portraits of the Russian strongman, chanting "Putin is a thief!" and "This is our city" amid a tightened police presence."They are protecting Putin the bandit," said 70-year-old Galina Onishchenko, pointing to prisoner transport vehicles.Among those detained were several who chanted anti-Putin slogans.Activists yelled "fascists" and "you will not scare us", an AFP reporter said.More than 30 people were detained in the city, said OVD-Info which tracks opposition arrests.Thousands of Communists also demonstrated in the capital Moscow and across the country, waving … [Read more...] about Anti-Putin protesters arrested in Saint Petersburg
MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday (Apr 29) that Ukrainians and Russians were "one people" and would benefit from common citizenship, after he angered Kiev by offering to fast-track Russian passports for Ukrainians."I've said many times that Ukrainians and Russians are brotherly nations. More over, I believe that they are essentially one people with various cultural, linguistic and historic peculiarities," a smiling Putin told reporters."If Ukraine gives passports to Russians and we in Russia give passports and citizenship to Ukrainians then sooner or later we will inevitably have a predictable outcome - everyone will have common citizenship.""This should be welcomed," Putin said before saying "Goodbye" to reporters in Ukrainian.Observers are closely watching for signs of a thaw in ties between Russia and Ukraine after a comedian with no political experience, Volodymyr Zelensky, won a landslide victory in presidential elections in Ukraine this month.The … [Read more...] about Putin floats ‘common citizenship’ for Russians, Ukrainians
By Thomas Walkom National Affairs Columnist Mon., April 29, 2019 Vladimir Putin has just made the North Korean situation more complicated. But the Russian president may have also opened up a new pathway to sidestep the current impasse between North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and America’s Donald Trump. Putin has done this by the simple action of reinserting himself into the middle of the on-again off-again Korean nuclear crisis. His first-ever meeting with Kim last week in the Russian city of Vladivostok served as a signal that Moscow expects to be a part of any negotiations involving the Korean Peninsula. Up to now, Putin has lain low and let others take the lead. Russia has supported, in theory at least, U.S.-led sanctions aimed at forcing North Korea to end its nuclear missile program. At the same time, Moscow has supported Chinese efforts to try and end the conflict between Washington and Pyongyang on a step-by-step basis in which each side agrees to … [Read more...] about Will Putin help or hurt situation with North Korea?
MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday (Apr 29) that Russians and Ukrainians would only benefit from sharing common citizenship, the Interfax news agency reported.Putin said on Saturday Moscow was considering offering all Ukrainian citizens fast-tracked Russian passports, a move that angered some politicians in Ukraine which has been at war with pro-Russian separatists since 2014.Putin has already signed an order to simplify the procedure for obtaining a Russian passport for residents of separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine, prompting calls from Kiev for more international sanctions.Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said that Putin should not expect many Ukrainians to take up his offer of a Russian passport, while offering Ukrainian citizenship to Russians. … [Read more...] about Putin says Russians, Ukrainians would benefit from shared citizenship