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RIGA, November 22./TASS/. Children of Latvia’s non-citizens, born in the country, must be given Latvian citizenship, President Raimonds Vejonis said on Tuesday.
"Unity of the society is one of the issues of national security. Children of non-citizens born in Latvia must become citizens at the moment of their birth," the president said. "We must stop producing new citizens of a nonexistent state - the former USSR," he added.
Almost two million people live in Latvia, and about 40% of them are Russian-speakers. More than 252,000 residents of Latvia are non-citizens. Since the republic seceded from the USSR in 1991, they have been stripped of most political rights, including the right to vote and run in local elections, the national and European parliaments as well as take part in national referendums. Non-citizens are also stripped of some social and economic rights.