A proposed Latvian-Russian treaty on social security should be delayed until Russia agrees to pay pensions to Latvian citizens who were deported during the Soviet occupation, the World Federation of Free Latvians has told the Latvian government.
The federation (Pasaules brīvo latviešu apvienība, or PBLA) on April 22 sent an open letter to the Saeima and the Cabinet of Ministers asking them to hold off ratifying a treaty on social security that was signed in December.
In the letter, signed by PBLA Chairman Mārtiņš Sausiņš, the federation says ratification should be withheld “until the Russian Federation, heir to the U.S.S.R., undertakes to pay out pensions to those many thousands of Latvian citizens who were forcibly deported and put to work in Russian territory in 1941 and in later years.”
Legislation to ratify the treaty passed its first reading March 6 in the Saeima. The treaty with Russia would regulate pension payments for citizens who move to the other country. Latvia has similar agreements with Canada, the United States and Ukraine. Plus, as a member of the European Union, Latvia is covered by regulations about social security payments to EU citizens.
The PBLA letter also asks that that pensions be paid to the descendants of those who died in deportation or later.
Germany has paid pensions and other compensation to Latvian citizens who were forced to work during the Nazi occupation.
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