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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Prime Minister of Latvia became interested in Russian souls

Prime Minister of Latvia Maris Kuchinskis has urged to do everything possible to Russian-speaking residents do not feel alienated, “It is the struggle for “the soul”, which is now actually going on,” he added. But what caused such a change in the camp of politicians who previously tried to uproot from the Republic of all Russian? The answer to this question is sad and simple.

The soul of Russian (i.e. mostly Russian) inhabitants excited Kuchinskisa after he was presented with a survey. In it, in particular, it is noted that with the approval of the revival of Nazism in Latvia agree or partially agree 30.9% of the population. However, the Prime Minister is likely more worried about not the figure, and the fact that 12.7% of respondents “feel their belonging to Russia”, 21.4% were positive about the use of Russian symbols on the 9th of may, and 21.7% of the respondents agreed that the rights and interests of Russians in Latvia are violated so that it requires the intervention of Moscow.

“The transition from “promises, guarantees and concessions” to the desire “to hang” can happen at any time”

Riga is now reaping the benefits of its national policy framework, in which the interests of the Russian minority (which is not such a minority – 44% in Latvia) had consistently ignored and admitted insignificant. As a result, the country has grown and entered adulthood of the generation born after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but feels rooted in the country of residence. We should not forget that more than 250 thousand people (i.e. about 13% of the official population) still are not citizens of Latvia, where they live for many decades. Institute of “non-citizens” – really shameful, reminiscent of the thesis of “sub-human” system where the Baltic countries, however, have been adopted in the European Union.

Of course, this policy can hardly be called otherwise than “ostrich”: to pretend that the Russian language in the country, and there is no interest they could not be, and in 25 years be surprised that Russian speakers have not gone away and is still unhappy with his humble position.

Recall that the capital of Latvia Riga has been in charge of ethnically Russian nil Ushakov, to measure the forces opposing the attempts of nationalist parties to ban all Russian Republic. However, it is difficult to name a fighter for the rights Russian-speaking, rather Ushakov calls on all political forces in the country to sanity and civil peace.

So the main question now is what exactly is meant Kuchinke under the “struggle for souls”? If we are talking about another attempt to ban the broadcasting of Russian media, to block “undesirable” Russian sites and strengthen the work of intelligence in identifying a “separatist conspiracy”, the situation will only get worse.

It should be understood that for Latvia, Lithuania and, to a lesser extent, to Estonia, the exit of Britain from the European Union is not an abstract issue which could indirectly affect the financial condition of international markets (such as Russia), and quite real. Dozens, if not hundreds of thousands of citizens of the Baltic countries after the opening of Britain their labor market moved to London and other major cities where low-paid work for the British, but very profitable for the Baltic States positions. Now they are likely to be forced to return, albeit not immediately. This issue is now actively discussed in the local media. The same Kuchinke already made a statement that the withdrawal of Britain from the EU would not lead to deportations of Latvians. However, he noted that “it is not yet the moment came when Latvia can call its emigrated sons and daughters back, as could not provide them the same living conditions as in England.”

However, the first comments to the Prime Minister on the need to fight for the souls say that the question is not only about prohibitions. Kuchinka said that the events dedicated to the centenary of the state independence of Latvia it is necessary to use in order to talk with the residents of the predominantly Russian-speaking regions of Latvia. He himself in early July plans to visit Daugavpils, where the Festival will be ethnic minorities. “Ready to talk to people, because they are all ours” – promised the Latvian Prime Minister.

In turn, the Minister of defence Raimonds Bergmanis said that to inhabitants of Latvia, including many patriots, do not feel alienated, “we need the General steps of the whole state.” And the head of the parliamentary Committee on national security, the former speaker of the Saeima Solvita Aboltina said that the leadership of Latvia it is necessary to think about the General state policy. “Propaganda is not to detract another promotion,” she said.

Thus, the unexpected attention of the Latvian authorities towards the Russian-speaking citizens (and non-citizens) cannot explain the sudden “enlightenment” on the subject of what to ignore with impunity the interests of hundreds of thousands of people in the country, whose population does not exceed two millions, it is impossible. We are talking about forced steps, caused, on the one hand, the fear of Russian interference from the other understanding that the economic situation in the EU after the “Brekzita” will deteriorate.

I recall the words of the Deputy head of Dnipropetrovsk regional administration Boris Filatov later elected mayor of Dnipropetrovsk: “we Need to give any promises, guarantees or to make any concessions. And hang… hang them then”.

Even if the Latvian authorities do go to the real steps towards the Russian-speaking inhabitants of the country, it should be remembered that they do it contrary to his wish and declared for many years the principles. The transition from “promises, guarantees and concessions” to the desire “to hang” can occur at any time, which they seem friendly. Generation of politicians who are sincerely minded to interact with their Russian-speaking neighbours, neither in Latvia, nor in other Baltic countries, unfortunately, has not yet appeared.

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