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    State Duma adopts bill on Russian citizenship

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    MOSCOW, December 21 (RIA Novosti) - The lower house of the Russian parliament passed a bill on amendments to the law on Russian citizenship in the second and third readings Wednesday.

    The bill passed unanimously, with all 406 deputies casting their votes in favor of the bill, which only needed 226 votes to pass.

    The bill extends the term of the simplified procedure for citizens of former Soviet republics registered in Russia before July 1, 2002 or have a temporary residency permit in Russia until January 1, 2008.

    The simplified procedure implies the possibility of obtaining Russian citizenship without needing five years of continuous residency in the country, a legal source of income, or knowledge of the Russian language.

    The law on Russian citizenship came into force July 1, 2002.

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