Moscow calls Latvia’s decision to ban Russian language ‘discriminatory’


Russia on Friday called Latvia’s move to ban the Russian language in the workplace “discriminatory”, saying the former member of the Soviet Union had made the humiliation of ethnic minorities a policy of ‘State.

In a statement, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said a draft law being drafted in this regard contradicts international rules.

“Such absurd and discriminatory initiatives, affecting the interests of almost half of the Latvian population and running counter to many recommendations of relevant international structures, have long been a shameful practice,” she said.

“In this Baltic country, linguistic genocide and the humiliation of ethnic minorities, whose representatives are considered second-class people by the Latvian authorities, have been elevated to the level of state policy.

Zakharova added: “Unfortunately, European ‘democratic’ structures are shamefully silent.”

Russian has foreign language status in the Baltic country, which shares a border with Russia. Around 40% of Latvia’s 1.9 million inhabitants are Russian-speaking.

Latvia is a member of both the EU and NATO and has condemned Russia’s war against Ukraine, which began in February.

Moving away from Russia and its past, it has destroyed a number of Soviet monuments over the years, the latest being a concrete obelisk which was the centerpiece of a monument commemorating the Red Army’s victory over Nazi Germany in the capital Riga.

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Sylvester L. Goldfarb