Latvia sees Russia’s intention to protect Russians as a threat
RIGA, September 24 (RAPSI) – The deputy chief of the Latvian Security Police, Ints Ulmanis, said Russia’s pledge to protect Russians could threaten Latvia’s national security in view of the growing number of Russians who receive residence permits in Latvia, the online source Delfi announced on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, the Latvian Parliament’s Defense, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee discussed an Interior Ministry report on the issuance of temporary residence permits to foreign citizens in 2010-2014.
Ulmanis told the lawmakers that a Russian citizen who files for a residence permit is not a threat to Latvia. “However, security agencies should take into account the fact that the number of Russian citizens [in Latvia] has been growing,” he said.
“Individually, they do not threaten Latvia’s national security. But there is still a risk, considering Russia’s statements on its willingness to protect its citizens in any circumstances.”
From 2010 to 2014, the Latvian Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs received 12,427 residence permit requests from 5,267 investors and 7,160 family members. Permits were granted in 94.7% of cases. Amendments to Latvia’s Immigration Law that became effective on September 1, 2014 have increased the minimum cost of real estate which allows a foreign buyer to request a residence permit from 150,000 to 250,000 euros and its cadastral value from 50,000 to 80,000 euros.