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    MOSCOW SHARES OSCE PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY POSITION ON ETHIC MINORITIES SITUATION IN ESTONIA AND LATVIA

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    MOSCOW, JULY 15 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow fully shares the appeal in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's resolution to the parliaments and governments of Latvia and Estonia inviting adoption of a comprehensive legislation banning racial, colour-of-skin, language, religion, gender, national origin discrimination, as well as on other grounds - education, occupation and social security - preventing the taking of decisions targeting the assimilation of ethnic minorities.

    This is said in the communique of the Press and Information Board of the Russian Foreign Ministry concerning the ethnic-minorities resolution adopted at the recent Edinburgh session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

    "The Russian Foreign Ministry is on the whole satisfied with the contents of the Edinburgh ethnic-minorities resolution of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly", the communique reads.

    In the opinion of the Russian diplomatic corps, this document "gives a principally important assessment of the number of the key and most sensitive aspects of the position of Russian-speaking minorities in Latvia and Estonia".

    "The events in recent years have fully corroborated the well-grounded apprehensions of the Russian side, voiced all the way back in 2001, when, contrary to the position of Russia and many other members of the Organisation, it was not decided to prolong the mandates of the OSCE missions in Riga and Tallinn", the communique continues.

    In the opinion of the Russian Foreign Ministry, the non-adoption of the decision was "misinterpreted by the authorities of the said countries as the grounds for assertions on 'the full settlement' of problems of the Russian-speaking part of Latvian and Estonian society and the policy of ignoring the recommendations of the OSCE, Council of Europe and other international organisations in their address to ensure human rights and the rights of ethnic minorities".

    "Improvement of the position of Russian-speaking population in Latvia, as the Russian side has many times stressed, would be promoted, particularly, by Latvia's earliest and unconditional ratification of the Framework Convention on the Protection of Ethic Minorities. The need of it is also clearly set forth in the resolution", the communique goes on to read.

    "Moscow hopes that, this time, Riga and Tallinn will show respect for the decision of the authoritative European organisation and with due responsibility accept the resolution-voiced concern of the OSCE over the situation obtaining in those countries, in contact with OSCE High Commissioner for the Affairs of Ethnic Minorities Rolf Ekeus take the required steps towards the early rectification of the situation. It has already led Latvia to the mass protests of Russian-speaking people, going on for over a year on end", reads the communique of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

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