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    MP SLISKA CALLS FOR SERIOUS MEASURES TO SOLVE PROBLEMS OF RUSSIAN POPULATION IN LATVIA

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    MOSCOW, February 4, 2004. /RIA Novosti correspondent/ - First Deputy Chairman of the Russian State Duma Lyubov Sliska believes it is time to tame serious measures to solve problems of Russian-speaking population in Latvia.

    "However strange it might seem, the Latvian party reacts badly to all our normal proposals and is just escalating the situation with Russian-speaking population which is already far from normal," Sliska told journalists on Wednesday. "It is time we took serious steps to solve these problems," she added.

    On Thursday, February 5th, the Seim of Latvia will consider in the third final reading the law on education that envisages that teaching in Latvian school will be only in the state language.

    This means that over 100,00 schoolchildren for whom the Russian language is native will have to go to schools where all subjects are taught in Latvian.

    "I would like to see a little different approach to Russian-speaking population in Latvia," Sliska remarked.

    Russia has tried to draw the attention of international organizations and institutions, such as the European Union, the Parliamentary Assembly and NATO, to these problems.

    The EU should consider the responsibility it takes admitting Latvia to its members in May with such violations of human rights in the country, the Russian deputy emphasized.

    At its Wednesday plenary session the State Duma adopted an address to the Seim concerning consideration of the law On Education by Latvian legislators.

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