Disinfo: As long as there is an institution of mass statelessness, Latvia cannot be democratic

Summary

The key problem of the political development of modern Latvia has been and remains the preservation of mass statelessness institution.

The Latvian state will not be able to return to democratic political development as long as the institution of mass statelessness exists. There should be no illusions on this score! But even if we imagine that tomorrow this shameful institution will be abolished and all residents will have equal civil rights, this does not mean that Latvia has become a country of victorious democracy. Not at all, because over the 30 years of existence of the Second Republic of Latvia, powerful anti-democratic legislation has been formed, and it is precisely this legislation that hinders and will hinder tomorrow the return of the state to the democratic path of development.

 

Disproof

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.

Read further debunking by the Insider here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 217
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/10/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Latvia
  • Keywords: Democracy, Human rights, Russian world, Ethnic Russians

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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