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    ESTONIAN PRIMEIR RESPONDS TO EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT REPORT

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    TALLINN, March 12 (RIA Novosti) - There is not a problem with stateless people in Estonia and the process of integrating non-Estonians over the last ten years has been very successful, Estonian Prime Minister Juhan Parts told journalists

    As he said, after Estonia restored its independence, it has 150,000 people.

    "They have renounced their old state and they can be call patriots of Estonia. They want to work for the good of Estonia," Mr. Parts said.

    He noted that Russian petitions concerning stateless people in Estonia and Latvia have recently become more frequent and it is "turning in propaganda war," but the Estonian Government is not going to change principles of granting of citizenship.

    Mr. Parts specified that Estonian authorities are working to remove bureaucratic delays in granting citizenship. He cited the cash reimbursement to people who pass the citizenship test as an example.

    Mr. Parts' statements about stateless people in Estonia contradict a European Parliament report which refers to stateless people in Estonia as a serious problem. The OSCE high commissioner on national minorities, Rolf Ekeus, said on Wednesday that he was going to develop a number of proposals on improvement of the situation of the Russian-speaking population in Latvia and Estonia.

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