Latvia bans ex-Moscow mayor seeking residency

January 18, 2011 16:12

RIGA, Latvia  — Latvia's interior minister said she has banned former Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov from entering the country, dashing his hopes of receiving permanent residency in the Baltic state.

Latvian immigration authorities earlier said that Luzhkov applied for residency after meeting real estate and investment requirements.But Minister Linda Murniece said Tuesday that Luzhkov's hostile statements about Latvia in the past precluded the possibility of granting him residency and she has blacklisted him entirely.

If he had received residency in Latvia, Luzhkov would have been assured freedom of travel throughout the Schengen open border zone, to which Latvia belongs.

Luzhkov was fired from his post in Moscow last October after 18 years in office.

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