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Latvia: a law passes in Parliament to ban the use of the Russian language

Spoken by 37 percent of the population, Russian would be banned in all public offices, businesses, public transport, energy and telecommunications services.

© Agenzia Nova - Reproduction reserved

The New Conservative Party of Latvia, a governing force and first for the number of deputies in the Riga Parliament (the Seimas), presented a bill to the National Assembly this week that would effectively prohibit, in various circumstances, communication in the Russian language, which is spoken by 37 percent of the population (according to the last census of 2011). According to the provision, reports the portal "Rus.delfi", a ban on the use of "an unofficial EU language" would be introduced in various contexts of public life: in state and municipal institutions, in commercial establishments that provide public services used by all residents without exception. Furthermore, you could not communicate in Russian at the airport, railway stations and bus stations. The text was presented "at first reading" to the scrutiny of the competent parliamentary commission, despite the legal office of the Seimas having criticized its wording.


One of the objectives of the bill is to ensure the use of the state language, Latvian, even if this would already be required by law, he noted. Lilita Wilson member of the legal department. According to what was stated by Wilsone, it would therefore not be necessary to “rewrite this rule in the new law” which proposes to limit the use of other languages, even in the private sphere. The Russian language is spoken in large cities and in Letgallia, one of the four historical and cultural regions of Latvia. In the country, the Russian minority accounts for about 26 percent of the population. Starting in 2019, the teaching of the Russian language has been gradually discontinued in schools and universities, with the exception of subjects related to the culture and history of the Russian minority, such as Russian language and literature.

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