Putin promises to deprive those who join ISIS of Russian citizenship
Russians who joined the Islamic State group terrorist organization could be deprived of Russian citizenship, said Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview with television and radio station Mir 24 on Wednesday.
“In accordance with the Russian Constitution, we cannot deprive anyone of citizenship. But we can revoke any decisions that served as the basis for the acquirement of Russian citizenship,” Putin said, adding that the decision would be made “in the very near future,” pending legal consultation.
Putin stressed that Russia would not follow in Kazakhstan’s footsteps and develop a law that would directly revoke the citizenship of Russians involved in terrorist organizations.
Earlier, commenting on a bill on revoking the citizenship of members of terrorist organizations, Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev said that preventive work with ISIS returnees has not yielded any results. “Therefore, we decided that we will not allow them to come home,” reported interview TASS, quoting a fragment of Nazarbayev’s interview with television channel Mir 24.
FSB head Aleksandr Bortnikov stated in December 2015 that about 2,900 Russians had joined terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq. Other Russian law enforcement agencies, including the Investigative Committee, provided similar data on the number of Russian citizens fighting in ISIS.
During a January 2017 session on its annual report, Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee said that the bank accounts of 2,000 Russian citizens convicted of links with terrorist organizations have been blocked. The Anti-Terrorism Committee did not provide any data on the number of Russians fighting in ISIS.