According to the draft document published on the website of the Russian draft legislation, a separate category of non-citizens has emerged - non-citizens in Latvia and Estonia who were born after February 6, 1992 and have come of age, as well as their offspring, who cannot enjoy visa-free travels to Russia.
Artificial division of people in two groups only aggravates their already complicated situation and plays into the hands of local nationalists and politicians spreading anti-Russia sentiment in the Baltic states, the authors of the document said.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the new visa-free regime will apply to about 6,000 non-citizens in Latvia and Estonia who were born after February 6, 1992, and their children.
The problem was highlighted by an incident in August this year when a non-citizen of Latvia who studies in Moscow ran into problems with passport control at the Latvia-Russia border.
The woman was told she needed a visa to cross the Russian border, and explained that only non-citizens born before February 1992 were permitted to enter Russia without a visa from August 10. Russian border guards told her she had to pay a fine of 30 euros, but eventually with the help from the Latvian embassy in Russia she was issued a transit visa and was able to return to Latvia.
October 2016 marked 25 years since Latvia's interim parliament granted citizenship to Latvians that were citizens during the inter-war period, and their offspring, leaving about a third of Latvia's residents to become non-citizens.
(The story originally - and mistakenly - claimed that only ethnic Latvians were granted citizenship upon restoration of independence in 1991. The error has since been corrected.)