More than 700 people, over half of whom had previously been stateless, became naturalised citizens of Estonia in 2018.
As of 17 December, the Estonian government had granted citizenship of the Republic of Estonia to 721 people since the beginning of 2018. Of these, 475 had previously been stateless, spokespeople for the Ministry of the Interior told BNS.
Of those who previously held the citizenship of another country, 185 had previously been citizens of Russia, 19 of Ukraine, seven of Latvia and six of Belarus.
Also among the new naturalised citizens were people who previously held the citizenship of Algeria, the US, Colombia, the Ivory Coast, Israel, Congo, Lithuania, Uganda, Romania and Pakistan.
International protection granted to 13 persons
Estonia also granted international protection to 13 people this year, nearly half of whom were from Iraq.
Kai Heinlaid, leading case handler at the Citizenship and International Protection Bureau of the Police and Border Gard Board (PPA), told BNS that Estonia has granted refugee status and international protection to 13 people this year, six of whom were from Iraq.
The rest of those granted international protection were citizens of Russia, Syria, Ukraine and Tajikistan.
During the first 11 months of 2018, a total of 90 applications for international protection were submitted in Estonia outside of the EU migration plan.
Editor: Aili Vahtla