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    LATVIA'S DECISION ON RUSSIAN SCHOOLS IN THE REPUBLIC WILL DETERIORATE RUSSIAN-LATVIAN RELATIONS

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    MOSCOW, February 11 (RIA Novosti) - Russia must back up the complaint in defense of the Russian schools in Latvia if their Latvian advocates will lodge a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights. Andrei Kokoshin, chairman of the State Duma committee for the CIS affairs and relations with compatriots told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

    The Latvian Headquarters for protecting Russian schools is planning to appeal to the international court after the adoption on February 5 by the parliament of Latvia of amendments to the Law on Education which restrict the right of the Russian speakers in Latvia to get tuition in their native language.

    According to Kokoshin, the statement made by President of Latvia Vaira Vike-Freiberga that she intends to sign these amendments into law were received quite negatively by Russian MPs.

    The Russian MP called the statements by representatives of the Russian-speaking community in Latvia that the decision of the parliament and the president of the republic would lead to the further stratification of Latvian society into two parts unfriendly to each other as quite grounded.

    Undoubtedly, the adoption of these amendments will worsen the Russian-Latvian relations, the chairman of the Russian parliamentary committee said.

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