Vitebsk, 29 August (BelTA) - Latvian teenager Ilya Karoza, who interviewed the Belarusian president, and his family received Belarusian passports in a ceremony in Vitebsk on 29 August, BelTA has learned.
The Latvian teenager interviewed the Belarusian president during the Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk and became persona non grata in Latvia. His family moved to Vitebsk and found support, friends and a new home here. Ilya's mother, Natalya, thanked all the Belarusians for their support, the president - for his big father's heart and everybody who assisted the family persecuted in their homeland. She stressed that she would do everything possible to make her children worthy citizens of Belarus.
Ilya Karoza also expressed his gratitude for help and assistance. The main thing, the new citizen of Belarus said, is to be in the right place and at the right time. "I am grateful to God for meeting a true man – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko. In Belarus, everyone has help and will not be abandoned," the young man stressed.
Yesterday's Latvian citizens received fast-track Belarusian citizenship as Natalya Karoza's family were ethnic Belarusians. “After everything that happened following the harmless interview with the Belarusian head of state, the local authorities considered it a matter of honor to help the Latvian teenager and his family,” Vitebsk Oblast Vice Governor Vyacheslav Durnov noted.
The Karoza family are settling in in Vitebsk. Mother Natalya got a job. She works at Vitebskenergo as a cook and speaks very warmly of her new team. The newly minted Belarusians will soon be allocated a place in the company's dormitory. Ilya will enter the Vitebsk Cadet School, as he dreams of making a career as a military man. The younger members of the family - Sofia and Daniel - have been enrolled in educational institutions (Sofia is starting school this year). As Ilya's mother admitted, when they left Latvia, they were scared, and in Belarus they feel under reliable protection.