Putin: Path to Russian citizenship could be made easier for Crimean Tatars returning from abroad

Russian President Vladimir Putin has not ruled out easier terms for granting Russian citizenship to Crimean Tatars who have returned from abroad and have resided on the peninsula for a long time.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has not ruled out easier terms for granting Russian citizenship to Crimean Tatars who have returned from abroad and have resided on the peninsula for a long time.

"I will speak to colleagues. If we are talking about people who have effectively lived here for a long time, I think it will be possible to take a decision on an easier procedure for obtaining a Russian Federation citizenship," he said at a meeting with representatives from Crimean ethnic public associations on Aug. 17.

Furthermore, the money that was to be allocated for the socio-economic rehabilitation of Crimean Tatars "has certain limitations, like in any budget of any country," the president said.

"It is intended for a certain number of people living here, and we fear that there will be an influx (of immigrants) from other countries, and this money will not be enough. It will simply be 'spread over a pie' and no one will feel this money," he went on.

"In my view, we must implement these plans first and foremost for the people who are living here today. Well, maybe also for those who have resided in Crimea for a long time," Putin added.

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