RIGA, November 5 (RIA Novosti) – Russian chess master-turned-political activist Garry Kasparov has sent a request for Latvian citizenship to all political factions in the Baltic state’s parliament, a lawmaker said Tuesday.
“We have indeed received a Latvian-language request from Garry Kasparov. The Saeima [parliament] will consider this issue soon,” lawmaker Ainars Latkovskis told Baltkom radio.
He said the former world chess champion also wants to keep his Russian citizenship.
A new law on citizenship signed by the Latvian president in early June allows Latvian nationals to hold passports of other states. Russia and other non-EU former Soviet states, however, are not on the list of permitted countries.
Since retiring from professional chess in 2005, Kasparov has become active in Russian politics as a fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. This summer, he told reporters in Geneva that he was currently refraining from returning to Russia over fears of persecution for his political activities.
In early October, Kasparov, who was ranked chess’s world no. 1 for nearly two decades, announced he would run for president of the World Chess Federation, known by its French acronym FIDE, in elections next year.