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Language discrimination in Latvia is fraught with Ukrainian scenario - Kosachev

January 21, 2015, 2:21 UTC+3 MOSCOW
His reaction followed an initiative of the Latvian Center of the State Language to oblige all employees to speak exclusively the Latvian language at work even when talking to each other informally
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MOSCOW, January 20 /TASS/. An attempt to humiliate people belonging to a non-title nation and deprive them of their right and ability to talk their native language freely is unlikely to accelerate their assimilation but is sure to accumulate potential hostility in society, Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, wrote in his blog on Tuesday.

His reaction followed an initiative of the Latvian Center of the State Language to oblige all employees to speak exclusively the Latvian language at work even when talking to each other informally.

The information that the citizens of Latvia should speak only Latvian at job places even if their communication is informal has appeared on the website of the Latvian Center of the State Language.

Kosachev said that Latvia could face serious consequences if it continued its current language policy. “Instead of fully legitimate and loyal citizens, they will get ‘the humiliated and insulted’,” Kosachev warned.

The Russian lawmaker assumes that the problem can be solved by means of the authorities’ political will and their choice either in favour of confrontation or civil peace in their own country; in favour of the European or the Ukrainian scenario.

Latvian laws allow citizens to communicate in foreign languages informally, Kosachev went on to say. The Russian language which is spoken by one third of Latvia’s population /and is understood by even more people in the country/ is also classified as a foreign language. The Latvian authorities have been stubbornly refusing to recognize it as one of the country’s official languages, Kosachev said.

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