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Russia’s rules around ties to foreign countries have historically been among the most restrictive for diplomats and intelligence agencies anywhere in the world. It has been reported that employees have been prohibited even from forming romantic relationships with foreigners.
For ordinary Russians, since 2014, there has been a requirement to notify the Migration Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of all dual citizenships and foreign residence permits.
The news is likely to cause alarm in the West, where suspicions of large-scale Russian spying operations have been widely reported on. In 2018, the UK press alleged that there could be “as many as 75,000 Russian spies in Britain,” accounting for half of the expat population there. The claims drew ridicule online.
The Kremlin has not responded to requests for comment on the reasoning behind the rule change.
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