Russia has simplified citizenship procedures for Ukrainians permanently residing on its territory. President Vladimir Putin signed the relevant law on April 24 and it entered into force on Friday, the Ukrainian News Agency reports. According to the document, citizens of Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, and Kazakhstan permanently residing in the Russian Federation have the right to apply for Russian citizenship via a simplified procedure. A similar simplified citizenship procedure was introduced for foreigners permanently residing in the Russian Federation who are recognized as native Russian speakers. According to Russian law, citizens of Ukraine and Belarus who are fluent in Russian can be recognized by a special commission as native Russian speakers based solely on their application and without the need for an interview if they or their relatives permanently reside or have previously permanently resided in Russia or territories that were part of the Russian empire or the former USSR within the current borders of the Russian Federation. In addition, foreigners and stateless persons will no longer be required to renounce their existing citizenship to apply for Russian citizenship via the normal (not the simplified) procedure. As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, Russia accelerated the Russian citizenship procedures for residents of the Donbas on September 17, 2019. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba believes that dual citizenship should be allowed in Ukraine but not Ukrainian-Russian dual citizenship and not for civil servants.