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Russian Duma Slams Latvia’s Education Bill in Statement, Proposes Sanctions

© Sputnik / Vladimir Fedorenko / Go to the photo bankThe Russian State Duma on Okhotny Ryad Street.
The Russian State Duma on Okhotny Ryad Street. - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian parliament's lower house, the State Duma, adopted a statement, claiming that Riga's decision to transfer the schools of national minorities to the Latvian language of teaching was unacceptable and proposing to introduce special economic measures against Latvia.

The actions of the Latvian authorities, which violate the rights and freedoms of Russian-speaking citizens in Latvia, should be responded by an introduction of special economic measures against the Baltic state, provided for under Russia’s federal law "On Special Economic Measures," according to the Russian parliament's lower house, the State Duma lawmakers.

The statement stressed that Latvia, being a member of the European Union and the Council of Europe, violated the principles that were observed by most civilized countries.

The lawmakers also proposed to send the statement to the Russian government, the United Nations, the parliamentary assemblies of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, the parliaments of the Council of Europe member states and the Latvian Saeima.

READ MORE: Latvian Amendments to Education Law Violate International Legislation — Moscow

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In late March, the Saeima made a final decision to completely transfer the schools of national minorities, including Russian-language schools, to the Latvian language of teaching by 2021. On Monday, Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis signed the bill into law.

The Latvian population is about two million people, with 40 percent of Russian language speakers. The only state language in the country is Latvian, while all other languages, including Russian, are considered as foreign languages. Russian-speaking citizens have repeatedly protested against the government's plan to force the schools of ethnic minorities to switch to the Latvian language.

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