The President of Latvia supported the deprivation of citizenship for supporting the special operation

People who are “outside the democratic spectrum” could be put on a list to have their Latvian passport revoked, Levits said. We are talking about those who have dual citizenship

Egils Levits

Those Russians living in Latvia who support Moscow's position on Ukraine are “outside the spectrum of democracy” and may be deprived of Latvian citizenship, President Egils Levits said in an interview with RTVI.

According to him, in the current situation, a neutral position is impossible, because if a person is neutral, “it means that he did not understand the essence of the matter.”

“And between the Latvian Russians there is a part that is clearly pro-Ukrainian, and there are still those who have not yet understood what is happening, and are gradually moving in this direction, in the right direction. One piece— which is a minority, — which supports the Russian position. And this means that they are outside the spectrum of democracy,” — stated Levits.

According to him, people who are “outside the democratic spectrum” can be put on the list for deprivation of Latvian citizenship. “Of course, and as for those people who have dual citizenship, their citizenship can be taken away. Now there is such a draft in the Seimas… We need to look at those, including those who express views that are outside this democratic spectrum, and this is also quite aggressive… For example, this applies to jihadists,— said the president.

The Latvian Seimas in April approved a law on the deprivation of citizenship for supporting actions that threaten the territorial integrity of other democratic countries. In Latvia, such actions are considered, among other things, the Russian operation in Ukraine. Support refers to financial, material, propaganda, technological or other support provided to individuals and countries that have committed crimes against peace, acts of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes that threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of democracies or the constitutional order. Also, citizenship can be deprived for direct participation in such actions.

The law only refers to people with dual citizenship. If Latvian citizenship is the only one for a person, they will not be able to take it away.

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The decision to revoke citizenship will be made by the Latvian Citizenship and Migration Board, writes LSM. According to the representative of the department, Madara Puke, about 35,000 people in the country have dual citizenship, of which 3,270 are Russian citizens. The deprivation of the Latvian passport can be challenged in court, however, as noted by the department, earlier in almost all such cases the court left the decision unchanged.

The Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the decision of the Latvian Seimas. “In the context of the anti-Russian hysteria in Latvia, which has reached unprecedented proportions, the adoption of such amendments testifies to the destruction of the last sprouts of democracy in this Baltic country,” — said “RIA Novosti” in the department. It did not rule out that the number of accusations “fabricated against Russian-speaking residents” may increase in Latvia.

Since June 9, 2022, the broadcasting of all Russian TV channels has been banned in Latvia. The National Electronic Media Council (NEPLP) decided that the ban would remain in effect until the end of hostilities in Ukraine and the return of Crimea to its composition. Prior to this, the Latvian authorities periodically banned the broadcasting of certain Russian TV channels. So, on June 30, 2020, a ban was issued on the broadcasting of seven Russia Today (RT) TV channels, and on the day the special operation in Ukraine began, on February 24, 2022, — broadcasting of “Russia” is prohibited; and “Russia 24”.

In May 2022, the Latvian Seimas adopted a law that terminated the article of the agreement with Russia, which guarantees the safety of military memorials. Thus, the document lifted the legal restrictions on the demolition of the monument to the liberators of Riga, which some deputies insisted on. The Riga City Council voted to dismantle the monument. As the mayor of the city Martinsh Stakis said then, the dismantling of the monument to the liberators will begin this summer and will end within the time frame set by the Seimas— until November 15th. At the same time, the Riga authorities refused to transfer the monument to Russia after the dismantling.

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