Belarus citizens will not have to sit a Russian language proficiency exam in order to get a residence permit, Vladimir Putin stated after talks with his Belarusian counterpart Alyaksandr Lukashenka in Moscow on Tuesday.
“As you know, as of 1 January 2015 foreign citizens, who want to live and work in Russia, have to confirm their mastery of the Russian language, their knowledge of the Russian history and the basic laws. Yet taking into account the special nature of Belarusian-Russian relations we have decided not to apply these norms to Belarus citizens,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes Putin as saying.
A relevant bill has already been prepared and is now being considered by the State Duma, the Russian leader added.
In accordance with Russian law, starting this year foreigners seeking Russian citizenship or residence permit have to sit language exams.
As reported earlier, Belarusians residing in Kaliningrad region are protesting against such testing because it takes extra time and money. Moreover, Russian has the status of the state language in Belarus, they say.
Belsat.eu, via BelTA