from Russia with bias


with 3 comments

Latvia has adopted a law aimed specifically against a few thousand Russian political immigrants who have fled dictatorial mayhem in their country after Bolotnaya protests and the annexation of Crimea.

These people, mostly middle class professionals, obtained residence permits in exchange for investment in property and businesses. In practice, it means that they swapped their Russian apartments for flats and houses in Latvia, bringing hundreds of millions into the cash-strapped economy.

Now, the new law stipulates that they need to pay 5000 Euro per person to renew the five-year permit. For many families, possibly including my own, it means they’ll have to say goodbye to Latvia after all the efforts, years and money invested in settling down and integrating in Latvian society.

The simple reason is that unlike Russian oligarchs, state officials and criminals who inundate Latvia and will have no trouble paying the fee, for us 5000 euro, multiplied by the number of people in the family, is a very large sum of money.

Besides, the state-sponsored theft and extortion was one of main reasons to leave Russia in the first place, so why live in a country that does the same?

The new law says three things about Latvia:

1. This country is bad for investment, because it cheats and changes the rules in the middle of the game.

2. Amazingly, in the 21st century Latvian laws actually work retroactively. This one, for example, targets people who obtained permits after 2011.

3. The parliamentary majority in Latvia can be easily manipulated by the Kremlin into adopting laws that go against Latvia’s economic and strategic interests, while helping Vladimir Putin to promote anti-immigrant and Eurosceptic agenda in the EU and to target Russian political immigrants.

In short, it is full of Putin’s stooges no matter how they pretend to come across as patriots and nationalists. MPs who initiated this law have a long history of serving as Russian propaganda’s favourite scarecrows who are helping Kremlin TV to paint Latvia as intolerant and Russophobic country, which it clearly isn’t. Now they are at it again.

Written by fullofbias

April 21, 2016 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Selling resident’s permits was a private, inner circle racket all along and only due to Russian agression in Ukraine it became a public knowledge and widely acknowledged security risk in the Russian soft power era. Having said that, 5 years is plenty of time to learn a foreign language living in a foreign country and acquire the full citizenship showing ones commitement to further integrate and live in that country if one desires so. If these terms are not acceptable, 5000€ in 5 years or 80€ a month for a Schengen residence permit still seams very reasonable. For the buyers that is, not for the Latvian state for wich the artificial increase of non-native speakng population already has had terribly destabilizing consequences both security-wise and national identity – wise.


    April 21, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    • It is common knowledge that 10 years of uninterrupted residence is required before anyone can apply for Latvian citizenship. I know, I am British and have lived in Latvia long term. Please take your xenophobic views, and misinformation elsewhere!


      April 22, 2016 at 7:30 am

      • You’re being a bit stupid, unforunately. The issue for this blog’s author is that a new law stipulates that to extend a temporary residence permit (Termiņuzturēšanās Atļauja) for another 5-year term, those living in Latvia with it will have to pay 5000 euro. Toms is NOT speaking about gaining citizenship after 5 years. It is completely possible to gain a PERMANENT residency permit (Pastāvīgā Uzturēšanās Atļauja) after living in Latvia for 5 years on a TUA. Without paying 5000 euro, just 99 euro for an adult and under 40 euro for children of a person who has gained a permanent residency permit.
        Please take your poor reading comprehension, and righteous indignation elsewhere!


        April 24, 2016 at 10:08 am

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