Russians, Learn Latvian Language!

It seems that another anti-Russian campaign has been launched in the former Soviet republic of Latvia. Latvia President Vaira Vоke-Freiberga made rather hard statements directed against the Russian-speaking population of the republic who are not Latvian citizens and don’t speak the Latvian language. These people, who make up majority of Latvia’s population, got the ultimatum: either learn the republic’s language and adopt the Latvian citizenship, or leave the country. That was the gist of the Latvian president’s speech. Vaira Vоke-Freiberga called upon the non-citizens of Latvia to naturalize in the republic, as the Latvian language is the only official language according to the republican constitution. According to the Latvian president, Russia is the only country in which respect Latvia “has nuance of some definite kind.”

Vladimir Zorin, Russia’s minister overseeing ethnic problems already responded to the statement of Vaira Vоke-Freiberga and said, her statements concerning citizenship disagreed with the international practice, and recommended the Latvian leadership to respect the norms of the European law.

However, such are the realities of independent Latvia, where little attention seems to be paid to Russia’s opinions. What is more, Latvia’s most desired objective is incorporation in the European Union, which the world developed countries slightly associate with Russia.

And the European Union in its turn is looking forward to Latvia’s entry and is ready to accept it as it is, with its every fault. The European Commission recommended to accept ten new members to the European Union in 2004. A EU Summit will consider the candidatures of new members on October 24-25. Latvia is among the ten candidates.

Russian Minister Vladimir Zorin says that the European Council won’t allow a mass deportation of the Russian-speaking population from Latvia. Why are you so sure, mister minister? PRAVDA.Ru already published about the Russian family of Tatyana Slivenko, who experienced great problems in Latvia, about the appeals to the European Court concerning the problem. However, the things are right where they started.

Sergey Stefanov

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Author`s name Michael Simpson