TALLINN - The formation of a Russian party in the European Union should be completed by mid-2006, representatives of two Russian parties in Estonia and Tatyana Zdanok, a Latvian member of the European Parliament, announced last week after a meeting in Narva.
Zhdanok, the only Russian member of the European Parliament, said the establishment of a Russian party in the EU would help influence European structures, which in turn would force Estonian and Latvian legislatures to take into account their Russian communities, the Russian-language paper Molodyozh Estonii wrote last week.
According to the paper, the Russian Party in Estonia and the Estonian United People's Party were charged to draft the statutes and program of the European Russian Party by December.
The organizational work is planned to take between 18 and 24 months.
Plans are to register the party in Brussels either as an independent structure or as part of the Greens/European Free Alliance, of which Zhdanok is a member.
In the party creators' vision, the Russian party in the EU should use political means to seek the abolition of restrictions on naturalization in Estonia and Latvia and fight against the diminishing use of the Russian language. It should also work on increasing budgetary appropriations to Russian culture and education in the two countries.
One of the party's priorities is to bring EU and Russia economies closer together, with a common economic union as the ultimate goal, in which both goods and labor have the right of free movement.
The unification of Estonia's Russian parties was also discussed at the Narva meeting.