The mass statelessness of ethnic Russians and the limited education opportunities for them will be among the major issues to be brought up by the Russian side, Mr. Fedotov said. According to him, there are 480,000 stateless Russians living in Latvia and 160,000, in Estonia. Formerly part of the Soviet Union, these two countries have now found themselves on the doorstep of the EU and NATO. Yet, both the Latvian and the Estonian governments continue their discriminatory policies against ethnic minorities and none of the Western democracies seems to care. The Russian diplomat expressed indignation at the fact that some of those Latvians and Estonians who collaborated with the Nazis during WWII have now been proclaimed national heroes in their respective countries while local anti-fascists, by contrast, are prosecuted.
"In our view, the world community must respond [to such violations of basic human rights] in a proper way. Of course, Russia will raise the issue in Geneva," Mr. Fedotov said.