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Hundreds of thousands of Russian speakers will be expelled’: Latvia plans to deport people for not knowing Lettish

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NATO MEMBER LATVIA In this tiny Baltic State lives a few hundred thousand speakers of a near-dead language called Lettish. A massive 40% of the 1.9 million Latvians are ethnic Russian most of whom were born in Latvia. Like others, these ethnic Russians had their own schools, churches and culture but otherwise contribute enormously to the Latvian economy and lifestyle.

There is a month left before the adoption of amendments restricting the use of the Russian language in Latvia. The draft law ‘On Emigration’ has already passed the second approval in the Sejm, X hour – the final parliamentary readings on May 4. Its entry into force will oblige all Russian speakers who are not citizens of the republic. However, the ethnic Russians were not allowed Latvian citizenship and were classed as ALIENS. Every which way but lose.

Each, even the elderly, will take an exam in the knowledge of Lettish. The bill also provides for the deportation of those who failed the exam. At the same time, Riga is not interested in whether a person came to Latvia recently or has lived here for 70 years. 

With a request to evaluate the legislative initiatives of the Latvian parliamentarians, RT turned to a former deputy of the Riga City Duma. According to the politician, who asked not to be named, thousands of Russian-speaking elderly people could be expelled from the country despite never having lived in another country. In total, the amendments will affect thousands of Russian-speaking residents, the authorities believe.

After the second reading of the draft law, the consideration of applications wishing to remain in Latvia will be extended until November 30, 2023, and in some cases until January 1, 2024. Earlier, the servile to the Washington parliament of Latvia of the republic limited the deadline for passing the exam on September 1, 2023.

The law will primarily affect citizens of the Russian Federation who were previously citizens of Latvia (citizens and non-citizens) but decided to take Russian citizenship.

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MIKE WALSH is a journalist, broadcaster and the author of LIFE IN THE REICH, MY LAST TESTAMENT – LET GOD JUDGE ME, HEROES HANG WHEN TRAITORS TRIUMPH, and other book titles. These best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.




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