04:06 GMT +323 October 2019
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    Russia slams Latvia again on 'non-citizen' issue

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    Russia expressed regret on Tuesday over Latvia's refusal to accept a UN recommendation on the abolition of the status of "non-citizen" in the country.

    Russia expressed regret on Tuesday over Latvia's refusal to accept a UN recommendation on the abolition of the status of "non-citizen" in the country.

    The UN Human Rights Council adopted on May 9 a series of 122 recommendations to Latvia under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), asking the Baltic country to undertake reforms in such areas as human rights, non-citizenship, discrimination of ethnic minorities, human trafficking, gender inequality and prison conditions.

    Latvia agreed with 71 recommendations, but rejected seven outright, including Russia's proposal to abolish the status of "non-citizen".

    "It is regretful that the recommendation to abolish non-citizenship was rejected by Riga without any explanation," the Russian Foreign Ministry's special envoy for human rights, Konstantin Dolgov, said.

    The Russian diplomat also expressed hope that the Latvian authorities would study the recommendations closely and "act upon them in an appropriate manner."

    The Latvian parliament created the category of "non-citizen" in 1991 and it largely applies to Russians who moved to then socialist republic during the Soviet era.

    The Baltic state, with a population of 2.3 million, currently has around 350,000 people without citizenship. Non-citizens are not considered stateless persons under Latvian law but lack full rights, with the main restriction depriving "non-citizens" of the right to vote.

    Russia has repeatedly called on the EU and UN to address infringements of human rights of "non-citizens" in the Baltic States. Estonia also has several thousands "non-citizens."

    MOSCOW, May 10 (RIA Novosti)

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