Alex Krasnitsky is the former editor of the Russian-language daily Telegraf. He was born in Riga and assures me he has Latvian roots in both his father and his mother’s family, something he has proved with documentation.
However, his grandparents lived a “Romeo and Juliet story” and left Latvija because “their respective families opposed the marriage.”
They ended up 28 kilometers far from the Latvian border. However, it was Russia.
He does not want to hear about naturalisation, although he says he has thought about it several times. He still feels cheated, for he says all citizens were promised full right citizenship during the ‘awakening period’ in the late 80s early 90s. He loves Latvija, but after twenty years holding a non-citizen passport he has learnt to enjoy life as it comes.
“At a social level there is no such problem, but I think we have been used politically most of the times. Personally, I do not feel represented by the so called pro-russian parties, which are considered leftish parties,” says Alex.
“I love my country and sometimes I have felt alone and isolated from a political point of view. I do think we have been kind of forgotten over the years. However, I have learnt to look into the future and enjoy my life as any other Latvian citizen.
“It has to be said that the issue is not as hot as it used to be, but the Government of Latvija faces important social challenges regarding non-citizens and social integration.”