Latvia to tighten rules for issuing residence permits to Russians

Latvia plans to further tighten its rules for issuing and renewing residence permits to Russian and Belarusian citizens, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins announced.

Temporary residence permits issued to citizens of both countries will generally no longer be renewed in future, dpa news agency quoted Karins as saying after a government meeting on Tuesday.

There would be some rare exceptions, he added.

Interior Minister Kristaps Eklons suggested that permanent residence permits for family members, for example, should only be issued after they have successfully passed a Latvian language test.

Final decisions on the new regulations are to be made by the government soon.

Latvia has already suspended the granting of residence permits to Russians and Belarusians as a reaction to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and also revoked almost 1,000 permits.

According to the migration authority, more than 9,000 Russian citizens currently have temporary residence permits in Latvia.

In addition, there are some 37,000 Russians with permanent residence permits.

Latvia borders Russia and Moscow’s ally Belarus, and a strong Russian minority lives in the Baltic state.

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