Didn’t blog about it at the time, but just a bit more than a week ago, Putin formally signed Russia’s new immigration law easing citizenship requirements for Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, and Kazakhstan nationals (something that I l ong advocated).
It’s not an open borders project (the kneejerk hysterics of a few anti-Putin Russian nationalists aside).
It’s pretty explicitly aimed at making things easier for diaspora Russians, something that’s both in the text of the law as well as confirmed in comments made by Putin:
This should be a state policy, Russia is interested in the inflow of migrants, but only in those that the country needs. Of course, if we are talking about our compatriots, carriers of the Russian language and Russian culture, we are doubly or triple interested in the influx of just such people who themselves to be Russians in the broad sense of the word.
… as well as high net value added foreigners with close connections to Russia.
Incidentally, an amusing implication. All Ukrainian and Belorussian citizens are acknowledged as carriers of the Russian language. Meanwhile, the recently adopted Constitutional Amendment recognizes “carriers of the Russian language” as the “state forming people of the Russian Federation.”
Let us all congratulate AP and Mr. Hack on their new status!