Russian Deportations Begin in Latvia

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.28 - 2024 10:15 AM CET

Photo: Ruslan Lytvyn / Shutterstock
Photo: Ruslan Lytvyn / Shutterstock
The Latvian Ministry of Internal Affairs has ordered the deportation of 34 Russian nationals.

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The Latvian Ministry of Internal Affairs has mandated the deportation of 34 Russian nationals, announced Rihards Kozlovskis, the head of the department, on Latvian TV channel TV3.

"Thirty-four exit orders have been issued," Kozlovskis confirmed, addressing the situation of Russians who failed to meet the updated requirements for residency.

These individuals did not submit the necessary documents to obtain a residence permit, prompting the Ministry's decision to deport them.

The Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs of Latvia had previously provided the border service with data on approximately 800 Russians lacking the legal right to remain in the country.

Kozlovskis noted that around 600 of these individuals had already left Latvia, primarily exiting through Estonia.

Over 100 more were unaccounted for, with no information on their current whereabouts.

Russian Residents in Latvia

Latvia is home to more than 25,000 Russian citizens with a special status.

Before acquiring Russian passports, these individuals were either Latvian citizens or, predominantly, so-called "non-citizens." Non-citizens are typically former Soviet citizens who have not acquired Latvian citizenship and have limited rights compared to citizens.

In September 2022, the Latvian parliament, the Seimas, legally invalidated permanent residence permits for these individuals, effective from September 2, 2023.

To continue residing in Latvia, affected individuals must now obtain a new residence permit. This process requires them to submit a certificate demonstrating their knowledge of the Latvian language to the Office of Citizenship and Immigration Affairs.

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