The decree on the abolition of a visa-free regime for a part of “non-citizens” may be changed
Russia's ambassador to Estonia Aleksandr Petrov during a press conference held last Thursday in Tallinn reported the possibility of amending the decree on the abolition of a visa-free regime for adult non-citizens of Estonia and Latvia born after 6 February 1992.
“The situation has dramatically changed. It is not excluded that the decree will be amended”, – said A. Petrov.
According to the ambassador, this decree was enacted in 2008, but until recently, all non-citizens of Estonia and Latvia could enter Russia without visas. Now, according to A. Petrov, the situation has “dramatically changed”, but the reasons for such changes have not been named.
The subject of visas required for non-citizens of Estonia and Latvia was broached due to the situation occurred at the beginning of this August with a student of a Moscow University who was detained at a Moscow airport when going through the border control. As non-citizens of Latvia, the girl has been entering Russia without visa since 2008, but was now told by the airport staff that since August 10, 2016 a visa-free regime is applied only to non-citizens born before February 1992.
According to the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova, the ministry has instructed the Russian Embassies in Latvia and Estonia to post on their websites information on the entry procedure for non-citizens.
It should be recalled that the status of “non-citizens” of Latvia and Estonia is usually granted to citizens of the former USSR whose ancestors did not live on the territory of pre-war countries. Russia introduced a visa-free regime for non-citizens of Estonia and Latvia immediately after the introduction of the visa regime between the countries. To enter Russia without visa, a non-citizen had to address to the Russian Consulate and have a special stamp put in a valid passport. This regime was revoked in 2001 by order of the Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, but even after this the visa cost for non-citizens was less than for citizens of Estonia and Latvia.
In summer 2008, the President Dmitry Medvedev signed a current decree completely abolishing visas and stamps for all non-citizens of Estonia and Latvia except for adult aliens born after 1992.