Donetsk, Feb 1 - DAN. The number of residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic who have applied for “United Russia” political party membership has reached some 16,000, State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament deputy from the “United Russia” faction, First Deputy Chairman of the house Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots Viktor Vodolatsky told the Donetsk News Agency.

“Donbass residents want to participate in Russia’s political life,” Vodolatsky said. “Since they have passed the first stage by electing State Duma deputies, the latter have to work for them today As for the voters, they are seeking Party membership. The “Untied Russia” Rostov branch has received a tremendous number of applications from Russian citizens living in Donbass who want to join the Party. “Today, we have some 16,000 such applications.”

He said that he would pass 860 Party membership cards to the Lugansk People’s Republic during his visit there within the next few days. The overall number of “United Russia” members in the LPR will reach some 1,000.

Earlier reports said that “United Russia” had offered fast track membership to Russian citizens living in the Donbass Republics. The applicants in those regions can skip the stage of having to be a Party supporter for six months in order to qualify.

Other requirements include Russian citizenship, age 16 upwards, support and solidarity with the Party’s program objectives and active contribution to their implementation.

The DPR and LPR began to take “United Russia” party membership applications from residents last July. In late November, the first 100 Donbass residents received “United Russia” membership cards. *jk