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Latvia rejects passports featuring Crimea as Russian territory

  • 2015-08-08
  • BNS/TBT Staff/RIGA

The Latvian Foreign Ministry has announced it will refuse visas to Russian citizens who hold passports featuring Crimea as part of the Russian Federation. 

A ministry spokesperson told the BNS news agency the passport holder would be asked to get a passport with a correctly indicated birthplace in order for a successful visa application.

According to the UNIAN news agency, as early as December 2013, Russian citizens had been receiving passports featuring Crimea as Russian territory. 

The Russian Federation annexed Crimea in March 2014.

The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry believes it has evidence to back up UNIAN’s claim. 

The Lithuanian embassy in Kiev confirmed the Lithuanian consulate in the Russian  enclave of Kaliningrad, had rejected a visa application from a Russian citizen, whose passport specified his birthplace as Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.

In its Twitter feed, the ministry published a photograph of the passport, which specified Crimea/Russia as his place of birth. 

According to the photograph, the passport was issued in December of 2013, to a Russian citizen born in 1992.

Since the passport had been issued in December 2013 Lithuania's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius believes it confirms Moscow's plans to annex Crimea.

"The passport had been issued a few months prior to the annexation of Crimea,” said Linkevicius. “This, along with other facts, shows Russia's consistent preparations for the annexation of the region.”

“The annexation had nothing to do with the alleged violations of Russian-speakers’ rights, and the bogus referendum - the results of which the international community refused to recognise.

“It was a smokescreen for the take-over of Crimea that had been planned in advance. 

“The facts highlight something Russia has itself indirectly admitted to.”

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