Out of ten Serbian passports issued to foreign citizens in 2023, almost six went to a Russian citizen – shows the analysis conducted by Radio Free Europe (RSE).
Thus, the trend of granting Serbian citizenship to Russian citizens from 2022 continued in 2023. The analysis includes only those citizenships granted by the Government of Serbia through a special procedure. The Government’s decisions are published in the Official Gazette, from where RSE took the data.
Data on citizenships that are granted through a regular procedure and decided by the Interior Ministry (MUP) of Serbia are not publicly available.
In the year of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of Russians sought temporary or permanent residence in Serbia, some due to Western sanctions against Moscow, which prevented them from working for Western companies, some due to fear of conscription.
Serbia, although a candidate for EU membership, is among the very few countries in Europe that has not imposed sanctions on Russia and has maintained direct flights with Moscow.
Russian citizens to whom the Government granted Serbian citizenship in 2022 were mostly athletes and businessmen.
According to data from May 15 of this year, which the Interior Ministry ofprovided to RSE, there are almost 30,000 Russian citizens residing in Serbia on the basis of approved temporary residence.
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