Latvia May Deport 800 Russians

Written by Camilla Jessen

Mar.15 - 2024 7:52 AM CET

Photo: teh_z1b / Shutterstock. com
Photo: teh_z1b / Shutterstock. com
Latvian authorities may deport 800 Russians who do not have the right to stay in the country.

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Latvia's migration authorities are contemplating the deportation of 800 Russian nationals residing in the country without proper residency rights, according to Madara Puke, a representative of the Latvian Migration Board.

Speaking on TV3 channel and reported by Suspilne, Puke detailed the current status of these individuals who have neither sought permanent nor temporary residency.

"At the moment, 800 people have not received the right to stay in Latvia. They have not applied for either permanent or temporary residence... We transferred information about these persons to the State Border Service for further verification. In the coming weeks, it will be clear whether these people are still in Latvia. If there are, orders to leave for 30 days will be issued," Puke explained.

The situation for Russian citizens in Latvia has been under scrutiny, especially for those who failed the mandatory Latvian language test. These individuals were given the option to secure a temporary residence permit for two years, after which their language proficiency would be reassessed under the possibility of deportation.

This development follows the Latvian Constitutional Court's decision to uphold the legality of requiring Russian nationals, who were previously citizens and had permanent residence permits, to pass a Latvian language exam.

The Citizenship and Migration Board of Latvia reported in January 2024 that 1,167 Russian citizens, including 789 individuals over the age of 60, risk deportation. The exact number of those who have already left Latvia remains uncertain.

Amidst these developments, the Latvian Minister of Internal Affairs suggested that rather than proceeding with mass deportations, the focus might shift towards individual cases.

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