New Latvian citizens are on the rise according to the Latvian Citizenship and Migration Office (PMLP). The PMLP states that the increase comes from those who were granted Latvian citizenship without a naturalization test based on their graduation from Latvian-language schools. In 2014, the number of citizenships granted via language school graduation was 296. In 2015, already 400 new citizenships have been awarded.
Individuals, who commenced elementary or general secondary education studies in the Latvian-language schools before Oct. 1, 2013, can register as Latvian citizens without passing the naturalization test within two years of completing a full education course in the Latvian language.
The Latvian National Environmental Service (VVD) has announced plans to purchase five unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for catching poachers and for fisheries control. The total amount of the UAV purchase is approximately 27,000 euros, and financial support from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) will also be used. The UAVs will be used to seek out poachers in the Baltic Sea and coastal areas. The UAVs may also be used to find instances of pollution in the waters. These UAVs will allow the VVD to spot illegal fishing acts, as well as identify and capture poachers more easily.
In an effort to enhance security and defense in the region, Latvian President Vejonis underlined the necessity to have 2,000 NATO troops deployed to the Baltics and Poland. The Defense Ministry has also announced negotiations to equip Latvia’s present anti-air system RBS-70 with improved missiles from the 158-million-euro fund that the government approved recently to enhance the nation’s anti-air systems, air control, and surveillance. Defense Minister Bergmanis also signed a contract on Oct. 2 with Lockheed Martin for TPS-77 Multi-Role Radars (MRR) to enhance air surveillance capabilities. According to National Armed Forces Commander, Raimonds Graube, this capability will increase Latvia’s low-level flight surveillance and identifications, a vital part of Latvian airspace surveillance capabilities.