Russian passport holders in Transnistria face unexpected problems: exclusive details

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In Russia-occupied Moldovan Transnistria, holders of Russian passports have faced unexpected problems – they have to confirm their citizenship of the aggressor country, Russia. Without this, they will lose social benefits and pensions, OBOZ.UA writes .

Sources in the PMR, Odesa Customs, and law enforcement agencies told the publication about this. Currently, residents of Transnistria have to look for ways to prove that they are indeed Russian citizens and that their passports are official documents, not meaningless pieces of paper of unknown origin.

The fact is that for about two years, the Russian consulate in Tiraspol did not conduct an electronic queue for the replacement of passports. And during the quarantine anti-covid measures, Russia closed its consulate in Tiraspol for more than a year. As a result, most Russian documents held by local residents were “expired”.

Currently, according to para. 202 of the Regulation on the Procedure for Consideration of Issues of Citizenship of the Russian Federation of November 22, 2023, they must pass a verification of “the authenticity of the document or the validity of its issuance”.

This procedure is supposed to be carried out at the consulate, but it turned out to be so complicated that it is almost impossible for ordinary citizens to pass the check. Moreover, in addition to the aforementioned “regulation,” this year the Russian Federation has adopted several regulations governing the issue of obtaining and “confirming” citizenship. In particular, the law “On Russian Citizenship” of 28.04.2023 and the presidential decree “On the issue of Russian citizenship” of 22.11.2023. All of them complicate the procedure as much as possible and often openly contradict each other.

Most often, the dialog with the consulate staff is reduced to a demand to bring documents confirming citizenship. That is, either a valid Russian passport or a metric with Russia as the place of birth.

“Unconfirmed Russians” are simply shown the door. The problem is complicated by the fact that at one time, residents of occupied Transnistria actively refused to give up their Moldovan passports in order to acquire Russian citizenship. And these are mostly elderly people who expected to receive a Russian pension. Now about 50,000 Transnistrian pensioners are not entitled to any social benefits at all, neither Moldovan nor Russian.

In principle, there is another way for residents of Transnistria to obtain Russian citizenship: to come to Russia in person and draw up documents there. But for this, you need to have a foreign passport of a citizen of the Russian Federation. Most of them are also “overdue” for the above reasons. It is impossible to get new ones. So the situation is finally turning into a stalemate.

Now it is difficult to say for sure whether this is bureaucratic red tape or a deliberate reduction of the burden on the Russian budget. But residents of other territories occupied by Russia find themselves in the same situation. First of all, in Ukraine and Georgia. So the newly converted “citizens of the Russian Federation” have a lot to think about.

Occupied Transnistria.
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