Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 214

Tatarstan’s parliament met yesterday to debate the question of Russia’s new passports. There has been a strong protest in Tatarstan and other national republics over the fact that the new identity documents are written in Russian only, contain no entry for nationality, and are stamped with the two-headed imperial Russian eagle. The Monitor has learned from sources in the region that Tatarstan’s parliament reached no conclusion yesterday. However, it upheld its earlier decision to suspend issuance of the new document on republic territory, and will return to the debate in a week’s time (November 20).

On November 5, the upper house of the Russian parliament adopted a unanimous appeal to the Russian president and government to issue bilingual passports for residents of Russia’s national republics. The Federation Council proposed inserting an extra page into passports issued which would duplicate, in the language of the republic in question, the data given on page one of the standard passport. The Federation Council also urged the president and government to consider the possibility of empowering local authorities to include an individual’s nationality when so requested by the individual. (Segodnya, November 5)

Ethnographer Warns National Republics that Ethnic Identity Is a Two-Edged Sword.