Altogether 797 people, including 558 previously stateless citizens, became naturalized citizens of Estonia in 2017.
Of new Estonian citizens who previously held the citizenship of another country, 177 had been citizens of Russia, 27 of Ukraine, six of Belarus, four each of Armenia and Azerbaijan, and three of Georgia, spokespeople for the Ministry of the Interior said on Thursday. Also among the new Estonian citizens were previous citizens of the U.S., Bangladesh, China, India, Pakistan, Finland, Sudan and Turkey.
In 2016, 1,752 people were granted Estonian citizenship, 1,455 of whom had previously been stateless, 218 of whom had been citizens of Russia, 29 citizens of Ukraine, and five citizens of Belarus.
According to representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, the number of recipients of Estonian citizenship was significantly higher in 2016 than this year because beginning Jan. 1, 2016, children born to stateless parents in Estonia began receiving Estonian citizenship via naturalization automatically, as did children under 15 years of age born to stateless parents in Estonia before Jan. 1, 2016 whose parents had both lived in Estonia on a legitimate basis for at least five years.
A total of 211 people relinquished their Estonian citizenship this year, down from 231 in 2016.
Editor: Aili Vahtla