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Šmits, Uldis

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Latvijas Avize - Latvia | 26/04/2010

A Russian-Latvian by any other name ...

A recent report by the BBC has described the situation of the Russian minority in Latvia as positive in general. The daily Latvijas Avīze is delighted with this praise but criticises the terms used in the report: "It's absurd to speak of Latvia's 'Latvian community'. I mean you wouldn't talk about the Lithuanian community in Lithuania or the French community in France. In France the notion prevails that belonging to the nation is determined by the basic republican values and not one's ethnic origin. And these values include the national language. ... But does the term 'Russophone Latvians' even make sense in the Latvian context? And if so, is that the same thing as 'Russian-speaking' or even 'unable to speak Latvian'? ... Another drawback is the incapability or unwillingness of the so-called Latvian parties to include loyal citizens of various origins."

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