Speaking of the status of ethnic Russian communities in post-Soviet countries such as Latvia, Mr Putin reemphasized the importance of protecting them against discriminatory policies.
“We must not let these people feel neglected and forsaken,” the President said in his letter. “I believe that Russia should be adamant in upholding their legitimate rights and interests. So far we are not succeeding in all our undertakings, but we will spare no effort.”
The President said he was hopeful that the first international congress of the Russian diaspora, to be held in Moscow this fall, would help establish or cement links between Russian-speaking communities across the world, facilitating the solution of legal, economic and humanitarian problems that they face.
Russian Ambassador Igor Studennikov handed Putin’s letter over to Avanesova on August 8, along with a gift book.
The woman has been living in Latvia for 55 years now. Her father, a WWII veteran, was sent to work in the republic in postwar years.
Avanesova wrote an autobiographic novel about her experiences in the besieged Leningrad and sent a copy in May this year to President Putin, along with an embroidered icon of the Virgin Mary.