“Apartheid Was Introduced”: Expert on the Decision Taken in Latvia

The Embassy of the Russian Federation in Latvia condemned the decision of the Constitutional Court of the Republic, which recognised the prohibition of the Russian language in private schools. Expert Igor Shishkin commented on the air of Radio Sputnik about the policy of the Latvian state towards national minorities.

The Russian Embassy in Latvia condemned the decision of the Constitutional Court of the Republic, which recognized the prohibition of teaching in Russian in private schools. Russian-speaking children thus lost their last opportunity to receive education in their native language, said the diplomatic representation.

This is another indication that the Latvian judicial system treats the norms of international law designed to protect representatives of national minorities in a very selective and specific manner. Russian-speaking children have lost their last opportunity to receive an education in their native language in their own country even on a commercial basis,” it is said in the statement of the Embassy of the Russian Federation.

The Seimas of Latvia in March 2018 at the final reading adopted amendments to two laws on education, stipulating that from the 2019/2020 academic year the transition to Latvian language education will start at the stage of secondary school in schools of national minorities. A full transition into education in the Latvian language will be completed on September 1st 2021.

The expert of the Institute of CIS countries Igor Shishkin on the air of Radio Sputnik called what is happening in Latvia apartheid.

“What happened was predicted by all specialists. And Latvia, in fact, did not hide that it took a course towards displacing all Russian. In Latvia, society is officially divided into two parts, i.e., apartheid has been introduced. People’s rights are struck on ethnic grounds, and Russians are struck in general,” noted Igor Shishkin.

All hopes that Riga will eventually think and reconsider its discriminatory policies have proved to be untenable, he said.

“In Russia it was said for a very long that it is supposedly excesses from the youth, statehood has just been created, hence the overlap, they will mature and become wiser. Well, they’ve grown up. And they introduced such norms. In Russia some others stated that Latvia will join the European Union, and there they will protect the rights of national minorities, they will definitely intervene. And what ‒ has the European Union intervened? The EU does not see all this at point blank range”, said Igor Shishkin.

In Latvia – there is one state language – Latvian. Russian, which is native to 40% of the population, has a foreign status.

Since 2020 Russian-language teaching will be almost completely discontinued in state bilingual (Latvian-Russian) schools. The Seimas also supported the ban on teaching in Russian in private universities in the country.

RIA Novosti

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