Riga mayor vows to safeguard Russians' interests despite referendum
Riga Mayor Nil Ushakov vowed on Sunday to continue safeguarding the interests of Latvia’s Russian-speaking population despite the referendum results.In a national referendum on Saturday, over 820,000 Latvians voted against granting the Russian a status of the second state language, while more than 273,000 supported the idea.“A total of 273,347 people voted for this initiative. For me, this number formulates a clear-cut task: to defend till the end your interests,” the mayor of the Latvian capital wrote on his Facebook page.At least 771,893 Latvian citizens, or half of eligible voters, were required to approve of the initiative for the Russian to become the second state language.Latvian President Andris Berzins, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis and Speaker of the Parliament (Saeima) Solvita Āboltiņa on Friday called on the electorate to vote against the adoption of the Russian language.Russian-speakers make up 44 percent of Latvia's 2.3-million population. Latvian is the official state language and Russian is treated as a foreign language.Latvia’s Central Election Commission gathered signatures last November for a petition to hold a nationwide referendum on granting Russian official-language status. The move was initiated by the Native Language organization and backed by Ushakov.Moscow has repeatedly accused ex-Soviet Baltic states Latvia and Estonia of discrimination against their Russian-speaking minorities.Many people from the large ethnic Russian population in Latvia and Estonia have been assigned "non-citizen" status, which denies them a national passport and other rights, and prevents them from voting.
Absolutely agree on this. Furthermore that is official strategy of Baltic governments.
What you not get is that this opposing myth is created by Russian mass media and some local radical Russian politics. Baltic nations are very tolerant and calm. I mean this seriously.
Baltic states have similar citizenship laws as any other European country or even Russia.
You CAN GET citizenship while fulfilling some minor requirements like basic language, history and constitution skills. Only thing that wonders me is that Russians after living 50 years in our countries still have not learned our languages…
Retroactive law against part of population is not really thing that have similarity in modern Europe. I wouldn't argue on this topic if they were be being just immigrants from 90s Russia to Lithuania in searching of better life and so on. But their ancestors starts to live there when the idea of independence of this land was just fantastic. I'm far from repeating "zomg nazi-baltic-fascists" things but what was done with local Russian population is more looking like moral and psychological vengeance.
How about youth part btw? Don't they know language as well?
Originally Posted by mathyou8
Good for them, i really hope one day we will never hear your blet and nakhui swearwords in Lithuania too.
Isn't the % of Russians in Lithuania is somewhere about 5?)
And this 5 percents are forcing ethnic Lithuanians to use blet in their speeches ?))
Russia said on Sunday Latvia had "breached its international obligations" after the Baltic state declined to allow a Russian observer mission at a referendum which rejected a proposal for Russian to be made the country's second official language.Latvia's decision caused "bewilderment," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement."What we are talking about here is that Riga ignored its international obligations. We demand an explanation," Lukashevich said.With nearly all the votes counted, 75 percent of votes cast in Saturday's referendum were against the proposal, Latvia's election officials said.Ethnic Russian make up about one-third of Latvia's 2.1 million population.Lukashevich said the ballot, called by the Russian-speakers' movement, Native Tongue, "did not fully reflect the mood in the country."He said 319,000 Russian speakers remain without citizenship and could not vote in Saturday's referendum."We hope the voice of Latvia's Russian-speaking population will be heard," Lukashevich said.Latvian President Andris Berzins earlier said there was "no need" for a second language, and that the government funded minority-language schools."Whoever wants, can use their language at home or in school," Berzins was quoted by the BBC as saying.