Estonia Wants to Eliminate Russian-Language Higher Education?

Estonian pro-government newspaper Eesti Paevaleht wrote on Wednesday that many branches of Russian universities implement the official policy of Moscow in Estonia by imposing the Russian standards of supreme education on this country.

In connection with this, the paper called on the Estonian Cabinet to shut up 16 Russian high schools which it believes "violate Estonian laws and deceive their students." In an interview with RIA Novosti, rector of the Sillamae Institute of Economics and Management Prof. Hanon Barabaner said that the Eesti Paevaleht article is a political campaign against Russian schools timed to the parliamentary election in Estonia to be held on March 2.

According to him, "it is obvious that this not fight for the quality of higher education in Estonia, but an attempt to find quasi-legitimate methods of abolishing Russian-language higher education in Estonia." "The recent acts of the Estonian authorities are directly related to toughening the requirements for knowledge of the state language, canceling the simplified procedures of obtaining citizenship and an attempt to torpedo the positive tendencies in the improvement of relations with Russia," the professor concluded.