Russia will continue to defend the rights of its citizens and fellow countrymen, including non-citizens in the Baltic states, Speaker of Russia's Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko said.
"We will defend the lawful rights and interests of our citizens and Russians living abroad," Matviyenko said at a meeting of the Federation Council's council on liaison with civil society institutions. "It's not a secret that, for example, some 300,000 of our fellow countrymen with the humiliating status of non-citizen are currently living in Latvia and Estonia."
In her words, these non-citizens are living in a de facto situation of ethnic segregation, and they are not only deprived of participation in politics, but a whole number of their human rights, present in all international agreements and conventions, are restricted.
"Unjustified politicization of human rights issues seriously hinders international cooperation," Matviyenko said.
"But Russia, despite its differences with its foreign partners on a number of issues, has no intention of leaving the international legal space," the speaker of the upper house of the Federal Assembly of Russia continued, adding that Russia will do everything to promote the solution of global problems and crises.
The number of persons of undefined citizenship in Estonia has fallen manyfold since the restoration of the country's independence in August 1991. While persons of undefined citizenship made up more than 30 percent of the Estonian population in 1991, they now account for less than 7 percent of the total.
Persons of undefined citizenship can seek Estonian citizenship for their children under a simplified procedure.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla