In the first three months of the year, more than 161,000 people became Russian citizens. The same period in 2019 saw just 63,249. In recent years, an increasing number of people are receiving Russian citizenship, and new laws meant to attract more foreigners appear to be ramping up the growth even faster. In 2019, almost 498,000 people received Russian citizenship, a sharp rise from 269,400 in the previous year. Speaking to daily newspaper RBC, Nikita Mkrtchyan, an associate professor at the HSE Institute for Demography, said that the figure for 2020 might break the record and exceed all previous years. Recently, the Russian government has passed several bills to simplify the process for foreigners to receive citizenship. In April, Putin signed a new law allowing citizens of all nations to become Russian citizens without giving up their existing passports.