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Russia welcomes foreigners with ‘traditional views’: What we know so far

An idea was floated at a Moscow forum by an Italian student of what she calls “impatriation,” and is supported by President Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has supported a proposal to simplify the process of moving to Russia for immigrants who share the traditional values that are nurtured and protected in the country.

”It’s a good idea to focus on traditional moral values when welcoming people who want to live here,” Putin said, during his appearance at the ‘Strong Ideas for a New Time’ forum in Moscow on Tuesday. However, he wondered if there was a way to correctly establish what moral code a person really follows.

The president stressed that Russia has recently been seeing “more and more supporters around the globe” because of, among other things, its policy of protecting traditional values. It has turned out that such values are dear not only to Russians but to “healthy people” everywhere, including in the West, he remarked.

The proposal to streamline the naturalization process for applicants who share Russian traditional values, to move there and to obtain citizenship, came from Irene Cecchini, an Italian student at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO). “This would be beneficial for Russia, because these people would bring new skills, they would be entrepreneurs,” whose input would also help increase the population and boost the economy, the student reasoned, addressing Putin in Russian.

Cecchini suggested that a new term, “impatriation,” should be introduced to describe “moving to a permanent place of residence in Russia on the basis of cultural, traditional and family values.” The Italian, who has been studying at MGIMO for four years and has learned Russian from scratch, complained to the president that her attempts to get a Russian passport have so far been in vain.

Italian student Irene Cecchini addressing Russian leader Vladimir Putin during a forum in Moscow.


Cecchini said that, besides improving the actual process of obtaining citizenship for these “impatriants,” a dedicated agency should be set up to individually assist and provide services to non-nationals who wish to come live in Russia. An online campaign must also be launched to inform people worldwide about the possibility of moving to Russia, she added.

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The state policy “to preserve and strengthen traditional Russian spiritual and moral values” was approved by Putin in November 2022. According to the document, those values, among other things, embrace life, dignity, human rights and freedoms, patriotism, a strong family, the priority of the spiritual over the material, historical memory and the unity of Russia’s peoples.

”The destruction of the traditional family through the promotion of non-traditional sexual relationships” was singled out in that policy document as being among threats to the Russian way of life.
Marriage has been designated as a union between a man and a woman, in amendments to the Russian Constitution introduced in 2020.

Russia has been limiting the promotion of non-traditional sexual relations on its territory since 2013 when a ban on disseminating LGBTQ material among under-18s was introduced.

In 2022, this legislation was expanded to include both minors and adults. The law on “protection of traditional values” made it illegal to promote LGBTQ, pedophilia, and sex-change themes in advertising, books, movies, and media. Last year, Russia’s Supreme Court outlawed the “international LGBTQ public movement,” labeling it an extremist organization.

At the forum on Tuesday, Putin said that Russia is “quite tolerant towards people with non-traditional sexual orientations. We just don’t flaunt it, and we don’t believe it’s right to flaunt it.” Adults in Russia may do what they want, he stressed, adding there are only a handful of rules in the country which limit the LGBTQ community.

READ MORE: ‘Don’t touch the kids,’ Putin tells gays

“As for children, I have already said many times: ‘Don’t touch the children.’ That’s it. This is the first one. And the second one is, we are, first and foremost, a state that is guided by traditional values,” he said.

February 22, 2024 at 08:42PM

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