Latvia, a former member of the Soviet Union that borders Russia, may ban the Russian language in the workplace in the near future in a possible blow to the Russian president. Vladimir PutinAccording to the country’s Deputy Prime Minister.
Janis Bordens, who serves as Latvia’s justice minister, told the Delphi news site in an article published on Saturday that the justice ministry is working on a bilingual restriction law. He said that “the long-term consequences of Russification are that the practice of using Latvian and Russian simultaneously in everyday communication, places of service and the workplace has become the norm,” according to an English translation of his remarks.
According to Washington, DC, the legislation in progress signals that Latvia is further distancing itself from Russia and its past as part of the wider USSR, whose collapse left more than 25 million ethnic Russians outside their country. Based Wilson Center. Such a gap could prove damaging for Putin after reports from Belarus’ state-owned Belta news agency in April indicated that Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko were interested in furthering ties between their two countries. On a more cooperative level In a move reminiscent of the former USSR, and looking to attract more ex-Soviet countries to join them.
The bilingual ban law will reduce the presence of Russian in Latvia’s public sphere. Bordens told Delphi that “society needs to know that the Latvian language should be used for business relations, as well as for workplace communication.”
The law could exclude the Russian language from telephone and banking messages, as well as affect job postings that require knowledge of the Russian language or benefit Russian-speaking candidates, he said.
“The use of a language that is not a language should be banned European Union, other than the state language when selling goods or providing services. It is possible that Russian will also be excluded from telephone and banking messages,” Bordens said.
This is not the first time that Latvia has grappled with the place of the Russian language in its society. In February 2012, 75 percent of Latvians voted against making Russian the second official language in a nationwide referendum, BBC Reported.
Despite this massive opposition, restrictions on the Russian language could affect large parts of the country. About 25 percent of Latvia’s population is predominantly Russian-speaking, Politico reported.
Latvia, which unlike Russia is a member of the European Union and NATOHe is a staunch critic of Putin Ukrainian invasion. The President of Latvia is Egils Levits Strong objection Russia is at war and has been a vocal supporter of Ukraine.
Levitt Reported above Twitter Latvia stopped issuing visas to Russian citizens after Russia invaded Ukraine on Saturday, saying it was “politically and morally unjustified” for other European countries to continue to do so.
Days before Bordens spoke to Delphi about possible Russian-language restrictions, Latvia’s parliament, known as the Saimaa, adopted a statement recognizing Russia’s alleged violence against Ukrainian citizens as “terrorism” and identifying Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Saima also called out to others EU The countries immediately stopped issuing tourist and entry visas to Russian and Belarusian citizens.
Newsweek The Bordens and the Russian Foreign Ministry have been contacted for comment.