Russia accuses Latvia of repression

  • 2004-09-09
  • By The Baltic Times
RIGA 's The Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday it had received a note from Moscow claiming that Latvia was guilty of repressing opponents of the education reform program.

The note came in response to a decision by Latvia's Interior Ministry to deport Alexander Kazakov, a Russian citizen and a member of the Shtab movement that unites anti-reform protestors. He is also an advisor to Russian MP Dmitry Rogozin, who is one of the most outspoken critics of Latvia and its minority policies.
Russia said that joining the EU and NATO, Latvia "has strengthened its anti-Russian rhetoric, come out with a number of ungrounded 'historic' materials and other objections, continues the re-assessment of World War II results and demands for apologies, as well as the making heroes of former Latvian SS soldiers."
Russia expects that "additional measures be carried out [by the EU] in order to improve the unfavored situation of Russian-speaker rights in Latvia, first of all in the sphere of state policies concerning education," according to the statement.
The Russian Foreign Minister claims that the Latvian government "openly demonstrates an unwillingness to follow the recommendations of the UN, the Council of Europe and the OSCE."
Maris Riekstins, state secretary of Latvia's Foreign Ministry, told the Baltic News Service that the ministry would consider whether to answer the note.
The country's education reform program went into effect on Sept. 1, raising the amount of lessons taught in Latvian at state-run minority high schools to at least 60 percent.