MOSCOW, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Russian authorities announced electronic IDs would replace citizens' paper passports starting 2011, Moscow's Izvestia daily reported Thursday.
The wallet-size IDs will have embedded micro-chips containing the bearer's personal information that current passports contain. But additionally, a card bearer will be able to use it for many other purposes such as public transport, insurance details, health record, and banking.
Besides personal convenience of carrying a wallet-sized plastic card instead of a paper passport, the government hopes the electronic documents will reduce corruption by limiting the need for face-to-face encounters between a citizens and officials.
Introduction of new IDs is in line with a government program called Electronic Government, which the Russian authorities have been developing since the start of 2010. In November, all Russia's ministries and agencies must switch to entirely electronic documentation flow.
Russian President leader Dmitry Medvedev, who made the country's modernization process the cornerstone of his presidency, set an example signing all his decrees in electronic form only, signing up for a Twitter account and opening his own blog on the Internet.