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    RUSSIA TO RAISE ISSUE OF ETHNIC MINORITIES' RIGHTS IN LATVIA AND ESTONIA AT UN COMMISSION

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    GENEVA, MARCH 15 (RIA NOVOSTI) - Russia will raise at the United Nations Human Rights Commission the question of non-observance of the rights of ethnic minorities in Latvia and Estonia, Russian deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov told RIA Novosti on Monday.

    On Monday the annual 60th session of the UN Human Rights Commission began its work in the Palace of Nations in Geneva.

    Russia is going to draw the attention of the international community to the problem of open discrimination of the non-titular population in Latvia and Estonia.

    "This also refers to the problem of non-citizenship: almost half a million people in Latvia and Estonia are non-citizens. These are also recent events relating to the impinging on the rights of Russian speakers in Latvia in the field of tuition in Russian," said Fedotov, who heads the Russian delegation.

    Russia does not advance any special claims to Latvia and Estonia. In question are the standard generally accepted norms, fulfilled in every civilized country, he emphasized.

    As regards "the Chechen issue," Fedotov said that Russia believes it closed by the UN Human Rights Commission two years ago. Still, this year the European Union may submit for consideration to the commission a draft resolution on Chechnya.

    "If such attempts are made, we will resolutely speak against it," Fedotov said.

    Fight against terror will also be discussed at the session.

    "There should be no double standards, no division of terrorists into good and bad. Terrorists have neither religion, nor nationality. They act in a coordinated manner and a barrier in their way can be raised only through joint efforts," he stressed.

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