The Ministry of Justice of Latvia proposed to limit the use of the Russian language at work
The Ministry of Justice of Latvia proposes to legally limit the use of Russian in the workplace. Although after the 2012 referendum the language did not receive the status of a state language, in practice Latvians “should know it in a variety of situations”< source srcset="https://s0.rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/resized/1200xH/media/img/1/58/756604811224581.webp 1200w" type="image/webp" media="(-webkit-min-device -pixel-ratio: 2), (min-resolution: 192dpi)" >
The Latvian Ministry of Justice is working on a law on limiting bilingualism, which provides for limiting the use of the Russian language at work and in public places, the head of the department, Janis Bordans, told Delfi.
Bordans believes the law could stem from a 2012 language referendum to amend the constitution to make Russian the second state language. More than 1 million people took part in it (at that time 1.5 million citizens had the right to vote), and 822 thousand voted against, and only one was left as the official language— Latvian.
According to the head of the Ministry of Justice, despite the results of the referendum, the country has established the practice of simultaneous use of the Latvian and Russian languages at work, in places of service and in everyday communication. “Latvians should know Russian in a variety of situations,” — he notes.
“It is necessary to establish a ban on the use of a language that is not the language of the European Union, in addition to the state language when selling goods or providing services,”— the minister thinks. He admitted that the law could be applied to banking messages and job postings requiring knowledge of the Russian language, in the latter case— with the participation of the State Language Center and the State Labor Inspectorate.
Bordans noted that the law will provide for exceptions, but “the public needs to know that the Latvian language should be used for business relations, as well as for communication in the workplace.”
The head of the Ministry of Justice admitted that in the near future the bill can be sent for a meeting to the government, and after & mdash; submit to the Sejm.
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In 2021, President Egil Levits stated that in the country, 30 years after the restoration of independence, knowledge of the Russian language is still unreasonably demanded in the labor market, and this problem should be solved at the state level. «Russian language in Latvia— as foreign as any other language. You can legally demand knowledge of the Russian language only if the work is related to a foreign country where his knowledge is needed, — he emphasized.
According to the Central Statistical Bureau, as of the end of 2017, the native language for 61% of the inhabitants of Latvia was Latvian, for 36%— Russian.
Latvia is among the countries that have suspended the issuance of visas to Russians. President Egils Levits also proposed to revise the documents and residence permits already issued by the country, which Russian citizens have received. “However, in any case, they should not be extended in principle, except in specific proven special circumstances,” — he said.
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