21:20 GMT +323 October 2019
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    Latvian Saeima (Parliament)

    Latvian Parliament Rules Heritage Necessary for Latvian Nationality

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    The Latvian Parliament passed the amendments to the law on the changes of first name, last name and nationality, abolishing the clause allowing to choose Latvian nationality.

    RIGA (Sputnik) — Citizens of non-Latvian descent can no longer choose Latvian nationality for their passports, according to the law passed by Latvian Parliament on Thursday.

    The Latvian Parliament passed the amendments to the law on the changes of first name, last name and nationality, abolishing the clause allowing to choose Latvian nationality. Earlier the amendment stated that any Latvian citizen could change the nationality provided he or she had spent 15 years in the country and was familiar with Latvian language and culture.

    The Legal Affairs Committee which submitted revision proposals for the law had received multiple pleads to get rid of the option to choose Latvian nationality irrespective of heritage, the committee chairman, Gaidis Berzins, said.

    According to Berzins, numerous legal and political aspects made the revision and discarding of the previous text of amendment necessary.

    The revised law aims to speed up the registration process for people with Latvian heritage.

    Russian speakers make up 40 percent of Latvian population and are the most likely applicants for Latvian citizenship.

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