Russia - Vladimir Regional Court, judgment №33-1037/2012

The applicant, a Russian-speaking non-citizen of Estonia, applied for asylum in Russia, claiming discrimination on the basis of ethnicity in Estonia. The Court considers the problematic situation of non-citizens of Estonia, but concludes that the circumstances of the applicant's claim do not constitute basis for protection in Russia under the asylum framework. 

Case name (in original language)
Case status
Case number
Date of decision
Court / UN Treaty Body
Vladimir Regional Court
Language(s) the decision is available in
Applicant's country of birth
Applicant's country of residence
Russian Federation

The applicant is a non-citizen of Estonia, who applied for an asylum status in Russia, which was rejected. The applicant has previously served prison sentence in several countries, among which Sweden and Finland, for attempting to contact and take away her children (the latter presumably having been adopted or placed in the care of others).

Decision & Reasoning

The Court outlined requirements for qualifying for an asylum status, and reasoned as follows:

"In the course of judicial investigation, it has been established that the applicant is outside of the country of her habitual residence and does not intend to return there, but not due to well-founded fear of persecution on the basis of ethnicity, belonging to a social group or political convictions, but because of concrete circumstances related to the upbringing of her children."

"In the course of the interview the applicant indicated that she does not want to return to Estonia because of persecution, and being forced to distance herself from her children, and that there is a real threat to her safety in Finland as she may be imprisoned for attempting to meet with her son."

"In Estonia the applicant was not part of any political, religious, military or social organisations. She has received a conditional sentence for taking her son away." 

"As follows from the case file, in the course of considering the application for asylum by the applicant a request has been forwarded to provide information on the migration situation and circumstances of the Russian-speaking population in Estonia".

"According to the information, provided by the embassy of Russian Federation in Estonia, there is a large number of Russian citizens and stateless persons living on the territory of Estonia, who form potential immigration flows into Russia."

"After the restoration of independence of Estonia the ethnic discrimination of Russian-speaking population persist. They were denied automatic acquisition of Estonian nationality. Naturalisation process for those residents remains complex."

"Large scale statelessness remains a key problem."

"Due to high unemployment (more that 10%) the majority of working age population has either left for the EU, or is actively looking for employment opportunities in the EU."


The Court concludes that the applicant's situation does not comply with the criteria for obtaining asylum status, and upholds the administrative decision denying her the asylum status.