Foreign Minister: Riga adoption of amendments to the law “On education” complicates relations with Moscow

MOSCOW, March 24. /TASS/. Latvia continues to complicate relations with Russia after the adoption of the amendments to the law “On education”, said Saturday in a press-service of the MFA of Russia.

“Adopted by the nationalist majority of the Latvian Saeima, the amendments are contrary to the declarations of the management of the country’s commitment to the highest democratic standards and values, as well as a number of international legal instruments. Official Riga has to realize that their unfriendly steps continued to complicate bilateral relations, and the responsibility for this falls on the Latvian side”, – stated in the message, opublikowano on the Ministry’s website.

The Russian side notes that the appeals and protests of the Russian-speaking part of the population to the authorities and international human rights institutions do not enjoy the support of the authorities and ignored.

The diet of Latvia on Thursday, March 22, at the meeting in the third final reading adopted developed by the Ministry of education and science of Latvia and approved by the government reform, according to which minority schools in 2020 will switch to the teaching of most subjects in the Latvian language.

Lessons in Russian is expected to remain for only a few subjects (Russian language, Russian literature) and for “items related to culture and history”. It is expected that the gradual implementation of the reform will start from 1 September next year. That reform came into force, the document must be signed by the President.

This intention has caused a wave of discontent among Russian speaking residents of Latvia, who make up about 40% of the population. Defenders of Russian schools has previously held several mass rallies and marches against the reform. On the websites of public initiatives are collecting signatures against these plans.

The only official language in Latvia is Latvian, Russian is a foreign one. From 1 September 2004 in the Republic was carried out which caused a mass protest education reform in minority schools. The result was introduced a bilingual system of learning in which in the senior classes of Russian schools in the Russian language it is possible to teach only 40% of subjects.