MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian State Duma’s International Affairs Committee Chairman Leonid Slutsky told Sputnik on Thursday that he viewed the rejection of a draft law which halts granting a non-citizen status by the Latvian parliament as a manifestation of Russophobia toward Latvian residents.
"Latvian Saeima continues to pursue its discriminatory policy against Russian-speaking descendants. It is an absolutely absurd and inexplicable manifestation of Russophobia toward their residents," Slutsky said.
Slutsky added that the non-citizen status became an anachronism but was still used to humiliate the people who stayed in Latvia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
According to the Latvian Population Register, some 252,000 residents of Latvia ranked as non-citizens, which is 11.8 percent of country's population as of January, 2016. Among the ethnic groups holding a non-citizen status, almost two-thirds are Russians.