Present-day events in the Baltic countries, including the ongoing deportation of Russians from Latvia, affect Russia’s security, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with heads of Russian municipalities.
“The events that are taking place in Latvia and other Baltic countries now, when the Russian people are being thrown out, are very serious and directly affect the security of our country,” he said.
The Latvian authorities have sent repeated letters threatening to deport 985 Russians who failed to meet the requirement to obtain a residence permit in the country, the LTV TV channel reported with reference to the chief of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, Maira Roze.
Deportation of Russian nationals from Latvia
Boris Katkov, an 82-year-old retiree, was deported from Latvia on January 13 for supposedly being a threat to national security, with no timetable for when he would be able to return. The day before, the country’s authorities announced their decision. The Russian Embassy protested the incident, noting that Riga had violated the principle of not separating families: Katkov’s wife, children and grandchildren remained in Latvia.
In September 2022, the Saeima (unicameral parliament) of Latvia adopted amendments to the law on migration, which obliged Russian citizens who have permanent residence in the Baltic republic, to obtain a certificate of proficiency in the Latvian language at the A2 level by September 1, 2023. Otherwise, they would lose their residence status in the country.
On September 14, 2023, the Latvian Parliament approved the final reading of an amendment to the Immigration Law, extending the period to pass the state language exam by two years en route to obtaining the right to be a permanent resident in the Republic. Now Russian citizens living in Latvia will be able to obtain a temporary residence permit for two years, during which they will have to pass the state language exam. The application for a residence permit had to be submitted by December 31.