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    VILNIUS, May 21 (RIA Novosti) - Candidates for the European Parliament representing the Russian speaking communities in the Baltic states are seeking to give the Russian language a special status in the European Union.

    The candidates have circulated the project, which they intend to advance in the Europarliament. They suggest that Russian (along with Turkish, Hebrew, Arabian and Gypsy) be recognised as a language of the major ethnic minority group and made a working language in the EU.

    The authors of the project, Georgy Bystrov, who was nominated for the European Parliament by Estonia's Russian speaking community, Tatyana Zhdanok, a leader of Latvia's For Human Rights in a United Latvia party, and Sergei Dmitriyev, President of Lithuania's Union of Russians, emphasised that they were intent on promoting ethnic Russians' right to study in their mother tongue in secondary schools and universities.

    The authors are also set to promote a law on proportionate representation, which must be common for all EU countries. The governments, ministries and self-government bodies will stop being mono-ethnic in the future.

    The authors also intend to propose establishing a separate body to deal with issues related to Europe's ethnic minorities.

    In a joint statement they will propose Latvia and Estonia announce May 1 Day of Fighting Statelessness and grant citizenship to all those with residence permits who are found in these countries on that day without exceptions and restrictions whatsoever.

    The candidates are also going to back Russia's initiative on visa-free travels between Russia and the EU, on the zero visa option with respect to the USA and secure the return of Baltic peacekeepers from Iraq and other "hot spots."

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