The parliament of the Republic of Tatarstan is mulling the possibility of introducing its own citizenship, Monitor’s correspondent in the Volga region reports. A terse note to this effect appeared in the local newspaper, Vechernyaya Kazan, on February 8.
Ever since Tatarstan adopted a declaration of sovereignty in August 1990, members of the Tatar nationalist movement have been calling for the institution of formal citizenship for residents of the republic. In 1992, the republic parliament approved a controversial article on citizenship, according to which Tatarstan undertook to establish its own citizenship and to allow its citizens to hold dual (Russian and Tatarstan) citizenship. (Sovetskaya Tatariya, December 12, 1992) Despite the wide autonomy that Tatarstan enjoys inside the Russian Federation, the topic of citizenship remains highly sensitive, however, if only because of the precedent it would set for other Russian regions. Monitor’s correspondent says that, for this reason, the republic authorities have until now preferred to let sleeping dogs lie, fearful that too assertive an initiative would arouse Moscow’s opposition while too mild a move would infuriate Tatar nationalists. Now, however, the topic is back on the agenda and the commission on legislation of the Tatarstan parliament is actively working on a draft bill for parliamentary consideration.
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