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Russia urges Latvia, Estonia to heed UN criticism of citizenship deprivation practices

July 01, 15:01 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The resolution on human rights and arbitrary deprivation of citizenship was adopted at Russia’s initiative at the 32nd session of the UN human rights council in Geneva on June 30.
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© Vladimir Starkov/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, July 1. /TASS/. Russia is urging the authorities of Latvia and Estonia to turn an attentive ear to the UN human rights council’s resolution critical of arbitrary termination of citizenship, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

The resolution on human rights and arbitrary deprivation of citizenship was adopted at Russia’s initiative at the 32nd session of the UN human rights council in Geneva on June 30.

"The resolution states that the right of each individual to citizenship is enshrined in international human rights law and that arbitrary deprivation of citizenship is prohibited by international norms," the Foreign Ministry said. "Deep concern is expressed over the arbitrary deprivation of individuals and groups of individuals of their citizenship, in particular, on discriminatory grounds. It is recognized that such deprivation constitutes a violation of basic human rights and freedoms. A special emphasis is placed on children stripped of their citizenship."

"The Russia-initiated resolution on human rights and the arbitrary deprivation of citizenship is aimed at correcting such alarming situations and preventing violations in the future," the Foreign Ministry said. "It relies on the existing international human rights norms regarding the right to citizenship and the recommendations devised by the expert community for preventing violations of this law and other inseparably linked human rights, by means of providing legal guarantees of the prevention of citizenshiplessness."

"The universal support of Russia’s initiative in the UN human rights council allows for hoping that the consolidated position of the international community will bring about a solution to the problem of arbitrary deprivation of citizenship and put an end to violations this phenomenon entails," the Foreign Ministry said.

"This is of particular importance in the context of mass statelessness in Latvia and Estonia, where hundreds of thousands of Russian speakers, including children, have been denied citizenship for more than two decades," the Foreign Ministry said. "We hope that Riga and Tallinn will heed the opinion of the human rights council, which backs up the earlier recommendations from international and regional human rights protection mechanisms regarding the need for the elimination citizenshiplessness in these countries.".

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