Russian Head of General Staff Gerasimov hands award weapon to Syrian generalMilitary & Defense August 19, 9:10
German politician says Crimea should to be recognized as part of RussiaWorld August 19, 6:22
Russian Emergencies Ministry carries out over 430 humanitarian missions abroad since 1993Society & Culture August 19, 6:18
Olympic diving champion Zakharov to carry Russia’s flag at opening ceremony of UniversiadeSport August 19, 4:11
New defense attorney to be appointed in former Ukrainian president’s high treason caseWorld August 19, 4:04
Mayor says Izmir International Fair homage to memory of late Russian ambassadorWorld August 19, 3:59
Putin, Medvedev emphasize need to restore cultural facilities in CrimeaSociety & Culture August 19, 3:43
El Pais: all four suspects in Barcelona terror attack shot deadWorld August 19, 3:36
Foreign Ministry speaker Zakharova very passionate about her dollhouseRussian Politics & Diplomacy August 18, 23:01
MOSCOW, February 20 (Itar-Tass) — On Monday Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said that Moscow’s statements concerning the Saturday referendum on the status of Russian as a second official language were considered to be an “interference in the internal affairs” of the republic.
“The Foreign Ministry comments on issues that are within the competence of Latvia,” the top diplomat said in an interview with Echo of Moscow radio station. “I don’t believe it is a good practice. We can call this interference in internal affairs,” he stressed.
He emphasized that one must not hurry in the settlement of the Russian language status issue. “We must discuss that in a calmer atmosphere, we need calm work,” Rinkevics said.
According to the Latvian Central Election Commission, 24.88 percent of 71.12 percent of the citizens taking part in the referendum, voted in favor of granting Russian the status of a second official language in the republic, and another 74.8 percent rejected Russian as an official language.
Commenting on the voting, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said “The referendum results do not fully reflect opinions of local residents. The reason is that 319,000 ‘non-citizens’ were denied the right to express their opinion although many of them were born in Latvia or lived there for a long time,” he said.
“Moscow is perplexed with the denial of the observer status to the Russian Public Chamber delegation by recommendation of the Latvian Foreign Ministry. We demanded explanations from the Latvian authorities. We think that Riga ignored its international commitments,” he said.
According to statistical data, over two million people live in Latvia, and the Russian-speaking population accounts for about 40 percent.