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Latvian authorities call not to be afraid of non-citizens naturalization procedure

Head of Latvian Naturalization Administration Azhenia Aldermane call Latvians not to be afraid of non-citizens naturalization.

Azhenia Aldermane said in an interview to the Latviays Avize newspaper on January 6, that even if all Latvian non-citizens could unite and vote for the same candidate during elections, they would not be able to change the existing order of things in Latvia.

“If we are afraid that the relatively small number of non-Latvians are able to change the state system, we worth a dime”, she said.

About 1,359 thousand Latvians and 445 thousand of non-Latvians who have citizenship live in Latvia. The rest of Latvia residents, about 500 thousand (or one-fourth of the country population)are non-citizens because neither they nor their ancestors lived in Latvia before July 17, 1940 – the day Soviet troops entered Latvia.

130 thousand of Latvian non-citizens are over 55, and few of them will apply for being granted Latvian citizenship, Aldermane said. “These people don’t recognize Latvian citizenship, they will never go to voting polls and they will always live in the environment of the memories of the past, of the USSR”, the Head of Naturalization Department believes. The majority of other non-citizens “will stop taking offence and settle the issue of problem of their citizenship”’ she believes.

Aldermane is also sure about quick disappearing the agitation raised by Latvian Russian schools passing to teaching most classes in Latvian in the new school year. She said that when the new school year starts, “everything will be as it should.”


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