RIGA, Jan 3 (LETA) - The parliamentary faction of the opposition left-wing pro-Russia Harmony party has asked Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis not to promulgate the law on the status of a participant of World War II and wants him to return the bill to the parliament for revision.The Harmony faction chairman, Janis Urbanovics, said in the letter to the Latvian president that, under the new law in its current wording, the status would be granted only to some of Latvian citizens. People, who became Latvian citizens through naturalization, and Latvia's non-citizens are not eligible to the status of a participant of World War II. As a result, most of the Red Army veterans would not be able to get the status, Urbanovics said, stressing that people, who had actually won World War II, would be denied the status. The said eligibility criteria make naturalized citizens the second-class citizens in Latvia and blatantly weaken the status of non-citizens as people belonging with Latvia, Urbanovics said. This is contradictory to the Citizenship Law which says all Latvian citizens have equal rights and obligations, regardless of how and when they obtained the citizenship, and would lead to division rather than reconciliation within the country's population, he stated.Urbanovics also listed several other problems likely to occur in relation to the new law, if it was promulgated in the wording approved by the parliament in the final reading. As reported, the Latvian parliament at the end of 2017 passed the law on the status of a participant of World War II which would be given to all Latvian citizens, who fought in regular military units against Soviet or German forces during the war. The participants of World War II will be issued special certificates and memorial badges.The bill is supposed to show appreciation to those Latvian citizens, who were mobilized to serve in the German and Soviet armies during World War II regardless of their will, promote consolidation of Latvia’s society and an equal treatment of all war veterans.
Published: 03.01.2018 12:52