RIGA, May 18. /TASS/. Members of the European Parliament (MEP) from Latvia - Miroslav Mitrofanov and Andrei Mamykin - have collected signatures from their MEP colleagues representing all EU states with a general address to Latvia’s authorities to rethink the reform on obligating minority schools to be instructed in the Latvian language, the bureau of the Russian Union of Latvia party, which is co-chaired by Mitrofanov, told TASS on Friday.
The address that will be sent to the country’s government and the Sejm (parliament), was endorsed by one in seven MEPs, or 115 people, representing all 28 EU states and almost all EP factions. The document criticizes the decision to obligate Latvia’s minority schools to Latvian-language-based education, while reiterating the basic EU principle of respect for and protection of the rights of national minorities, as well as appeals to rethink Latvia’s decision to abolish school education based on minority languages.
"This is not an overstatement in saying that this is a great victory and support for our struggle. That said, I don’t mean just the struggle to preserve Russian schools in Latvia, but also the liberation of those arrested members of our movement - Alexander Gaponenko and Vladimir Linderman," Mitrofanov noted. "After more than a hundred European politicians from all EU countries signed in favor of education based on national minority languages, the authorities’ repression against our party over meetings in support of Russian schools looks like official Latvia’s pathetic and insane attempt to oppose itself to the European Union."