02:44 GMT +323 March 2018
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    RIGA, March 6 (RIA Novosti) - Latvia's capital, Riga is hosting an all-Latvian congress of Russian school defenders.

    987 delegates are taking part in the work of the congress. Among them are schoolchildren, teachers and representatives of public organizations from Riga and other Latvian cities.

    There are also representatives of a Jewish school and Polish schools, as well as Latvia's Ukrainian and Belarussian communities. Politicians and experts from Russia and Germany participate in the work of the congress as guests. Russian State Duma (lower house) deputy Konstantin Zatulin and St Petersburg Legislative Assembly deputy chairman Vladimir Yeremenko spoke at the congress.

    Well known Russian politician and parliamentarian Dmitry Rogozin banned by Latvian authorities from entering the country addressed the congress participants by means of a TV linkup.

    The congress delegates discussed the issues of ethnic minority rights observance, in particular, for Russians who constitute a third of Latvia's population.

    This is the first suchlike event in Latvia's history. It is conditioned by the Latvian authorities-pursued policy in regard to ethnic minorities, in particular, by the decision to transfer ethnic minorities' schools to the Lettish language.

    There were attempts to frustrate the Riga congress: the police received a call about a bomb allegedly planted in the Sports Palace where the event was held. A RIA Novosti correspondent reported from the place that over 2,000 people were evacuated from the building. As supposed, officers of the Omega special unit found no bomb.

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