Nepalese political party, Rashtriya Swatantra Party (RaSwPa), has sought the intervention of Foreign Minister N.P. Saud in addressing the issue of Nepalese citizens who have reportedly enlisted in the Russian military. The request was made during a meeting held on Friday, where the RaSwPa delegation urged the government to ascertain the details of these individuals and facilitate their safe repatriation.
Enlistment in Foreign Armies: A Legal Dilemma
The situation echoes the concerns of several Central Asian countries where citizens are allegedly being pressured into signing contracts with Russia's Defense Ministry. Amidst Russia's conflict with Ukraine, migrants from countries like Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, irrespective of their Russian citizenship, are said to be targeted for military recruitment. Such participation in foreign military activities is considered a violation of these countries' criminal codes and could potentially lead to loss of citizenship.
Fast-tracked Naturalization for Foreign Recruits
In a move that adds a layer of complexity to the issue, Russian President Vladimir Putin has introduced a simplified naturalization process for foreign individuals who join the Russian armed forces on a contractual basis. According to the decree, foreigners who serve in the Russian army for a minimum of one year and spend at least six months in conflict zones, wherein they sustain serious injuries, can obtain Russian citizenship in an expedited manner. This provision extends to the immediate family of such individuals.
Human Trafficking: A Dark Underbelly
Recent reports have highlighted the tragic loss of six Nepali youths who were fighting for the Russian army in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. These individuals were reportedly lured into danger by human traffickers who promised an improved livelihood. Such a promise, however, has turned into a nightmare for these individuals and their families as they navigate the perils of a war zone.
Global Response: Calls for Repatriation
Amidst this, human rights activists and organizations worldwide are calling for mechanisms to facilitate the safe return of individuals caught in such predicaments. Ukraine's human rights ombudsman, for instance, has expressed hope for a faster repatriation process for Ukrainian children deported by Russia. A similar plea has been made by the RaSwPa for Nepalese citizens, further emphasizing the urgency of this global issue.