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This country may only have 20 years to live

  In recent years, Latvia has lost 30% of its population due to mass emigration. At the same time, Latvians are less willing to have children due to economic pressure. Experts believe that if Latvia cannot find a solution to the problem of population decline, the country may only have 20 years of “life”.
  Since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, as a member of the European Union, Latvia has taken a tough stance on sanctions against Russia. Today, with the high inflation in Europe, the unresolved energy crisis, and the European Central Bank’s sharp increase in interest rates, Latvia’s economy will inevitably fall into recession.
  At the same time, another major crisis is quietly approaching. Recently, some Latvian experts believe that because the country’s population is rapidly decreasing, the country may not continue to exist for more than 20 years.
  Living in the cracks The three
  Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) are at the crossroads of Europe, and Latvia is in the middle of the trio.
   In the 17th century, Latvia was occupied by Tsarist Russia in the Great Northern War. During World War I, it was occupied by the Second German Reich.
   After the First World War, with the collapse of the Second German Empire, the demise of the Tsarist Russian regime, and the establishment of a new Soviet Russia, the calls for national independence became louder and louder. On November 18, 1918, the Latvian provisional government was established and embarked on the road to independence.
  However, in the 1930s, with Hitler coming to power, the international situation suddenly became tense.
  On August 23, 1939, the Soviet Union and Germany signed the “Non-Aggression Pact” with the “Secret Protocol”, Germany promised that the three Baltic countries were the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence. In June 1940, Latvia was incorporated into the Soviet Union.
   After regaining independence in 1991, Latvia chose to be close to the West. It joined the World Trade Organization in 1998 and became a member of the European Union and NATO in 2004.
  But history still leaves deep traces in Latvia. According to the 2011 census, in Latvia, Latvians accounted for 62.1%, and Russians accounted for 26.9%. Most Latvians know Russian, but in a 2012 language referendum, 74.8% of the votes opposed making Russian the country’s second official language. Currently, Latvia is systematically restricting the use of Russian at work and in public places.
  At the forefront of sanctions against Russia After the outbreak of the Russia-
  Ukraine conflict, Latvia has been at the forefront of sanctions against Russia. Latvian Prime Minister Kalins has repeatedly called for increased sanctions to “isolate the Russian economy”.
  On September 22 this year, the Latvian Parliament reviewed and passed the amendment to the Immigration Law. The amendment modifies the procedures for the application and extension of temporary residence permits for Russian and Belarusian citizens, so that those Russian and Belarusian citizens who have obtained residence permits for investment or real estate purchases in Latvia will not be able to extend their temporary residence permits. At the same time, Russian citizens will not be able to obtain a Latvian work visa. The amendment also stipulates that for those who have been citizens of Latvia or other countries and then naturalized in Russia, their permanent residence permits in Latvia will be valid until September 1, 2023. If one wants to obtain a permanent residence permit again, a language proof of mastery of Latvian must be submitted by law before the end of the relevant period.
  After Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the mobilization of the armed forces, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Linkeviches announced on social platforms that for security reasons, Latvia will not issue humanitarian or other visas to Russian citizens who avoid military mobilization , and will not change the Schengen visa policy for holders of Schengen visas from September 19, 2022 (this agreement was named after the signing of Schengen in Luxembourg, the agreement stipulates the single visa policy of member states. According to this agreement, any Schengen member A visa issued by a country that is also considered valid in all other member states without the need to apply for a separate visa) implements a policy of transit restrictions for Russian citizens.
   On September 27, the Latvian government announced that several cities bordering Russia have entered a state of emergency, which will last from September 28 to December 26, 2022. In addition, the Latvian government decided to close the Pedze border crossing, decided to send defense forces and security personnel to assist border guards in order to prevent more Russians from trying to enter Latvia.
  Dr. Nina Linde, Director of the Institute of Economics of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, mentioned that not extending the residence permit to Russian investors will not only have a negative impact on Latvia’s economic development and business innovation, but may also face the risk of international litigation or arbitration. Will damage Latvia’s image in the global investment community.
  At present, about 100 companies in Latvia are owned by Russian citizens who have obtained Latvian residence visas, and these companies have as many as 1,200 local employees. If these Latvian citizens lose their jobs due to investor visas, the employment situation in Latvia will deteriorate, which will increase the burden on the state social security budget.
  Or only 20 years of “life” left.
   While the economy is deteriorating, Latvia is also facing another major crisis-underpopulation.
  Because there are more women than men in Latvia, the ratio of men to women is seriously unbalanced, so it is called “the country of daughters”.
   According to data released by the Central Statistical Office of Latvia recently, the natural population growth has been negative since the country’s independence. The country’s resident population has been declining for more than 30 years. In 2021 alone, the country will lose more than 17,000 people. Currently, the official population figure is 1.896 million people, but the actual figure is much lower because many Latvians live in other countries.
   Latvia has lost 30% of its population in recent years due to mass emigration. At the same time, the aging population and poor medical services have led to high death rates and higher than birth rates. Also, Latvians have low fertility intentions due to high economic pressures.
   In this regard, Latvian sociologist Kak Kinesh believes that if Latvia cannot find a solution to the problem of population decline, the country may only have 20 years of “life”.
  With the lifting of the new crown pneumonia epidemic restrictions, the pace of local immigration will accelerate. Previous polls showed that one-third of Latvians are planning to live abroad. The United States, Germany and Spain are the three countries where local young people most want to immigrate, and this will undoubtedly aggravate Latvia’s demographic crisis.

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