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New treaties give fresh hope to Latvia’s Russians

New treaties concerning co-operation in the social sphere and the status of military burials have been signed by Russia and Latvia. This follows Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's visit to the country, with which Moscow has had strained relations in

An agreement will regulate one of the most sensitive issues: payment of pensions to Russians living in Latvia.

Russia is unhappy with Latvia’s citizenship policies. Although the largest ethnic group in Latvia making up almost half of the population, many Russians still have alien status.
“We cannot accept mass-scale non-citizenship. This situation isn't normal,” reiterated Lavrov in Riga.

Meanwhile, Latvia says Russia needs to acknowledge the consequences of what it says was Soviet occupation.

At the same time, the Russian and Latvian foreign ministers agreed that the future of ties depends on getting over the past. Both countries say they don’t want such things to affect their future co-operation.
“Let’s leave the past to experts and concentrate on the future. We are ready to get over the negativity of recent years,” urged Sergey Lavrov.

Latvia has the same opinion, but with a different angle.
“Our opinions differ on some issues, such as for the example, the issue of the Soviet occupation of Latvia and other Baltic States. Nevertheless, we are ready to look to the future and discuss matters that are important for our countries and our peoples,” responded Latvian Foreign Minister Maris Riekstins.