Latvia torn between money and fear of Russia
After Russian president's flawed elections in 2012, annexation of Crimea and flaring up of Ukraine - Latvia's "golden visa" program experienced a flood of applications from the both countries. Now the country is torn between the wish to make money and fear of Russia. Re:Baltica examines 315 most expensive property deals during last year to find out who is running away from Putin's Russia.
To view the journal "Who has chosen Latvia as a second base" in an article form, click here - Second base in Latvia.
The small schools in Latvia's poor rural districts frequently serve as havens, but their school children receive an inferior education compared to their urban peers.
Their mothers are overworked from making ends meet and they often raise their children alone. Schools could be springboards to opportunity for their kids — not only by offering knowledge, but also by motivating and developing character. Can schools in Latvia do that?
With one hand, Kremlin strangles non-governmental organizations in Russia. With another, it generously supports the defenders of its interests in the Baltics.
Compared to Soviet propaganda, which targeted ideological supporters of socialism and communism, Putin's propaganda machine targets individuals who hold different – often conflicting – worldviews.
A disgraced Russian banker, an Estonian-born advertising guru and Baltic oil traders kept money in Switzerland away from the prying eyes of the local tax authorities
For almost a year Re:Baltica collected information from Latvia's business, land and property registers and analysed the 315 most expensive real estate deals in Latvia where foreigners were involved. The purpose was to get a full picture of the people who, during the turbulent times in Ukraine and a growing stand-off between the West and Russia, have opted for Latvia's ultra-cheap “golden visa” programme and find the origin of the money.
Vitaly Mansky, a Russian documentary director, knows exactly when he decided to establish a bolt hole outside of the Russian Federation. It was the spring of 2014, and Mansky was in Spain for a film festival, watching the news in his hotel room. An anchor at one of the Kremlin-controlled news stations reported that Russia’s parliament had allowed President Vladimir Putin to use the army to protect his compatriots in other countries. In other words, they had legalized the annexation of Crimea and provided support for pro-Russian combatants in Eastern Ukraine.
Infograph shows collected information about "golden visas" in other EU countries.
In the discussions about Latvia’s Golden Visa program the investors’ profiles have been exaggerated, and research has been paid for by the powerful real estate lobby. Its strong influence over parliament members is evident. Re:Baltica examines the most popular arguments of the debate.