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Moscow urges world to influence Baltic states infringing on Russian-speakers’ rights

June 04, 2015, 12:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia has been repeatedly calling on both Latvia and Estonia to end the status of non-citizens. These are individuals, mostly ethnic Russians, without passports who are not allowed to vote
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Rally in Riga in support of Russian language in higher education (archive)

Rally in Riga in support of Russian language in higher education (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Viktor Lisitsin

MOSCOW, June 4. /TASS/. Moscow cannot accept the uncovered discrimination of the Russian-speaking minority in the Baltic states, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, on Thursday.

"The special focus is on the problems with ensuring the rights of our fellow countrymen in the Baltic states," the diplomat said. "As you know, they are pursuing a policy towards building monoethnic states and uncovered discrimination of the Russian-speaking minority," he said.

Gatilov expressed concerns about the attempts of the official authorities of Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn to "narrow the use of the Russian language through reforming the education system."

"Of course, we cannot accept this state of affairs when the significant part of population of these countries is deprived of the key political, social and economic rights," Gatilov stressed.

Moscow is demanding at all venues that the international community should "use its decisive influence on the Estonian and Latvian authorities to put an end to these unprecedented and shameful developments."

Russia has been repeatedly calling on both Latvia and Estonia to bring to an end the status of non-citizens. These are individuals, mostly ethnic Russians, without passports who are not allowed to vote. Some 320,000 of these non-citizens live in Latvia and around 150,000 in Estonia.

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