The Latvian authorities have placed Moscow ex-mayor Yury Luzhkov, who earlier requested a Latvian residence permit, on a blacklist of people whose presence in the country is 'undesirable,' the Latvian interior minister said on Monday.
The decision means that the former chief of the Russian capital will not receive a residence permit.
Under Latvian immigration laws, foreigners can seek residence permits if they have bought real estate worth between 50,000 to 100,000 lats ($100,000-200,000) or if they have 200,000 lats ($400,000) in a Latvian banking account.
Luzhkov has made a 200,000 lat ($400,000) investment in the subordinated capital of Latvia's Rietumu Banka commercial bank and owns real estate in the country.
Luzhkov, who had held the mayoral post since 1992, was sacked last year by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev following an extensive smear campaign against him by the state-controlled media. Medvedev cited corruption and negligence of duty as the main reasons for the dismissal.
Latvian Interior Minister Linda Murniece earlier said that Latvia would request Russia's help in establishing whether the money that Luzhkov put on his account was acquired lawfully.
Luzhkov has criticized the Latvian authorities on numerous occasions for their policies in regard to the extensive Russian-speaking population of the Baltic state.
A number of media sources earlier reported that Luzhkov had also filed a request for a British visa.
RIGA, January 17 (RIA Novosti)