Russia’s Foreign Ministry to prevent drafted citizens from renewing their passports abroad

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has published a draft law on the procedure for issuing passports, which will prohibit Russian consulates abroad from issuing documents to Russian citizens who have been sent digital draft notices.

According to the legislative proposal put forward by the Foreign Ministry, consular officials can decline to issue a new passport to any Russian citizen to anyone who has received a “summons from the military enlistment office”, noting that once a Russian citizen is sent draft papers, they are automatically banned from leaving the country.

While the Foreign Ministry plans to stop issuing foreign passports to Russian men called up to perform their one-year compulsory military service or its civil equivalent, it’s not clear whether the rule would apply to reservists who have been called up as part of mobilisation.

Russians abroad who have been drafted are to remain unable to renew their passports abroad “until the obligation to report to the military draft office has been met”, the Foreign Ministry document said.

Alexey Tabalov, founder of NGO Conscript School, which campaigns for an all professional Russian military, suggested in a conversation with Telegram channel Mozhem Obyasnit, that one way to get around the restrictions would simply be for Russians to deregister from the military enlistment office.

Lawyer Anastasia Burakova advised Russian men who could be subject to the proposed restrictions to apply for a 10-year passport before the draft legislation becomes law.

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