Russia’s State Duma has registered a bill for debate that would recognize ethnic Russians and representatives of other ethnic groups of the Russian Federation as “compatriots” only if they speak Russian.

The bill was registered in the lower house of the Russian parliament on March 28.

The status of “compatriot” gives people who have ancestral roots in the former Soviet republics or current or former subjects of Russia the right to obtain Russian citizenship and to seek political and other kinds of support.

The bill was registered in the lower house of the Russian parliament on March 28. (file photo)
The bill was registered in the lower house of the Russian parliament on March 28.

The bill also envisions adding the definition of “state-forming people” for ethnic Russians and “representatives of Belarusian and Ukrainian peoples that are related to the state-forming people.”

The definition “state-forming people” was proposed in the past during discussions of constitutional amendments but rejected by lawmakers after natives of ethnic republics across Russia protested against it.