April 2, 2014 Russian news agency «RIA Novosti» spread the news that only six citizens of Crimea addressed the Federal Migration Service (FMS) with request to let them keep the Ukrainian citizenship.
«Yet only six people provided necessary documents for preserving the Ukrainian citizenship, though this option has been available for a long time. Until now only six people have come and submitted the applications, » — said Fedor Karpovets, the head of Russian FMS passport office, during a press conference in Simferopol.
This information is not true.
Crimeans did not receive an option to «preserve the Ukrainian citizenship» in the first place, they received the option to refuse from the Russian one. Point is, according to the Russian legislation, only those Crimeans are not to be considered citizens of Russia, who come in person to the FMS and refuse from the status of Russian citizens in written form by April 20, 2014.
Nontheless, almost all Crimeans are keeping their Ukrainians passports.
Ukrainian law currently does not recognise dual citizenship The administrative fine for Ukrainians for the act of holding two or more citizenships can be up to 150$. Yet, it is not considered a criminal offence. At the same time Russia does recognize double citizenship.
Therefore, according to the laws (both Russian and Ukrainian) those Ukrainians that receive Russian passports in Crimea will remain citizens of Ukraine, until they renunciate their Ukrainian citizenship in person.
Therefore the statement from Russian Federation that receiving the Russian citizenship means renunciating the Ukrainian one is not well-grounded from the point of legislation.
Also, the number of people who refused from the Russian citizenship is not correct. There are reports, including one from «Radio Svoboda» stating higher numbers. For example, one of journalists counted 19 people who came to a local FMS office to refuse from the Russian citizenship. This allows us to assume there are hundreds of people who already refused from the Russian citizenship.
Following: Radio Svoboda