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Latvia’s new president promises to communicate with Russian media in Russian

June 08, 2015, 18:56 UTC+3 RIGA
According to Raimonds Vejonis, an ability to communicate in the two languages is one of the ways to lower controversy between Latvians and ethnic Russians
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Latvia’s newly-elected President Raimonds Vejonis

Latvia’s newly-elected President Raimonds Vejonis

©  EPA/MAURIZIO GAMBARINI

RIGA, June 8 /TASS/. Latvia’s newly-elected President Raimonds Vejonis has promised to talk Russian to representatives of Russian-language media in order to make his views and ideas clearer to Russian speakers in Latvia.

"My intention to speak Russia will certainly have various interpretations but as I said earlier, I would continue speaking Russia in the media because I believe that if you want to bring any piece of news to the minds of people, you need to do that," Vejonis said in an interview with the local Radio Baltkom station on Monday. According to him, an ability to communicate in the two languages is one of the ways to lower controversy between Latvians and ethnic Russians.

Latvia’s new head of state said that he had inherited open heartedness, which is typical of the Russian people, from his mother who was Russian. "Perhaps, my openness to people is a quality which I have borrowed from the Russians because Latvians are more reserved and taciturn. But Russians have an open heart and soul," Vejonis said.

He added that he tried to use Russian when talking to his mother. "My mother is proud of me. It is true that she is Russian. My father met her when doing a military service. I was born in /Russia’s/ Pskov region. At first, our family spoke Russian. But when my father demobilized from the army and we moved to live in a Latvian town of Madone, my mother learnt Latvian and we started talking Latvian in our family. Now, I use every opportunity to speak Russian. I am going to forget it soon without practice," Vejonis said.

The Latvian parliament /Saeima/ voted for electing the former defense minister, Raimonds Vejonis, the country’s new president by 55 votes out of 100 by secret ballot. Vejonis will be sworn in as president on July 8.

The four-year term of Latvia's incumbent President Andris Berzins expires on July 7.

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