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The Economist ironic in Luzhkov's desire to move to ''Russophobic Latvia''

Nina Kolyako, BC, Riga, 18.01.2011.Print version
In an on-line commentary from the influential British business and world affairs magazine The Economist, the magazine's Eastern Europe commentator Edward Lucas was ironic in comments regarding the desire of former Russian Mayor Yuri Luzhkov to move to Latvia.

''Hellholes, infested with fascists and run by Russophobic ethnocrats. That is how some senior Russians and much of the media tends to portray Estonia and Latvia. Certainly not the sort of place you would retire to, in other words,'' Lucas wrote in his commentary.


''Few have been more forthright in such views than Yuri Luzhkov, until recently mayor of Moscow (where he once banned fascist Latvian sprats from the city's supermarkets),'' the commentator reminded.


''All the more interesting, therefore, to read that Mr Luzkhov may be planning to move from Moscow (where he was deposed in a fierce public spat with the federal leadership) to, er, Latvia. Perhaps it is not so bad there after all,'' Lucas said ironically.


As reported, Latvian Interior Minister Linda Murniece (Unity) has decided to include former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov on Latvia's list of personae non grata.


Murniece made the decision based on information she had been provided by the authorities.


This means that Luzhkov, who recently said he would like to apply for Latvia's residence permit, will be unable to receive the permit, because, pursuant to the Immigration Law, persons on the list of personae non grata are not permitted to enter Latvia, explained Skrebele.


However, Luzhkov's being on Latvia's list of personae non grata does not mean that he will not be permitted to enter Schengen countries, as Murniece informed LETA. Murniece also added that she will not request that Luzhkov be included in Schengen's blacklist.


LETA also reported, the "TV3" investigative news show "Neka personiga" reported on January 16 that Luzhkov was considering moving to Latvia permanently. Shortly before the end of 2010, Luzhkov turned to Latvia with an application for a residence permit after investing LVL 200,000 into the share capital of Rietumu banka.

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