Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on the Baltic countries discriminating against the Russian-speaking minority.
The disinformation refers to the situation in Latvia. It is the position of the Republic of Latvia that non-citizens of Latvia receive a special status. The special temporary status "former citizens of the USSR without the citizenship of the Republic of Latvia or any other country" was introduced by Latvian authorities following the collapse of the Soviet Union to a group of persons, who had immigrated during the period of Soviet occupation and who lost their USSR citizenship after the dissolution of the Soviet Union but who had never been citizens of the Republic of Latvia or their descendants and were permanently residing in Latvia. Non-citizens enjoy equal protection under the law both in Latvia and while living or traveling abroad, and are the only group of persons, in addition to citizens, who are granted permanent residence in Latvia ex lege.
Non-citizens are able to become citizens of Latvia through a simple naturalization procedure, and currently, more than 142,000 persons have been granted citizenship of the Republic of Latvia in this manner.
The percentage of non-citizens has dropped to 12% (257 377) in July 2015 compared to 29% (approximately 730 000) in 1995.
Since 2008, Russia has allowed Latvian and Estonian non-citizens to travel without visas to Russia, which makes not becoming a citizen of Latvia or Estonia a favourable option for some.
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