Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that it is regrettable that Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov’s comment today about Estonian citizenship policy is based on incorrect information and a non-objective attitude. “Thanks to the successful work of the Estonian government, since 1991 the number of stateless individuals has decreased and is now a fifth of what it was,” said Paet.
Paet stressed that every person permanently residing in Estonia has the right to apply for Estonian citizenship. “We encourage individuals with undetermined citizenship to apply for Estonian citizenship,” he added. “Russia’s role in this has not been constructive.”
Paet emphasised that all individuals legally residing in Estonia, regardless of citizenship, are guaranteed equal treatment and access to social benefits. He added that 90 percent of stateless individuals have a permanent residency permit.
Foreign Minister Paet stated that it is also very important that since the year 2000 many national integration programmes have been approved, the goal of which is to create a society that shares the same democratic values and a strong national identity.
Paet: Russian Foreign Minister’s Position on Citizenship Not Based on Objective View