The right to citizenship is an inalienable right of every individual and was recorded as such in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948. The Constitution of the Russian Federation and Russian legislation on citizenship fully ensure adherence to the principles and regulations of international law on citizenship and human rights. One manifestation of this is the fact that the Constitution entrusts the issues of citizenship and political asylum to the President — the guarantor of human and civil rights and liberties.
The President's powers in dealing with citizenship issues is set out in the federal law ”On Citizenship.“ The President ensures the development of a uniform state policy on citizenship, based on relevant legislation and the practical activities of governmental bodies responsible for these issues. The President shall hand down decisions on granting citizenship to foreign nationals and stateless persons, as well as restoring Russian citizenship or granting permission to relinquish it.
The President establishes a Commission for Citizenship Issues, drawing on representatives of federal authorities, scholars and public figures, working on a voluntary basis, to provide information and analysis on citizenship and asylum issues. The commission also submits proposals to improve relevant legislation and harmonize state policies on citizenship. Under the law, the commission reviews applications submitted to the President and provides him with proposals and draft decrees.
The procedure for granting political asylum to foreign nationals and stateless persons is defined in a statute approved by the President on July 21, 1997. Political asylum can be granted to a person who is being persecuted in his country of origin for social or political activities and/or beliefs that do not contradict the generally accepted democratic principles of the international community.