OREANDA-NEWSThe Permanent Mission of Russia to the OSCE condemned the plan to fully translate the education system of Latvia, including schools of national minorities, into the Latvian language and said that such a reform is contrary to the country's international obligations. This was reported in a statement published on the official permanent mission Twitter.

"On August 13, the Latvian government passed a law according to which a multilingual education system will be translated into Latvian. A language pressure policy on national minorities harms their identity and runs counter to Riga’s international obligations", the statement said.

The Latvian Ministry of Education and Science has previously developed, the government approved, approved the parliament in three readings, and the president signed a reform law, as a result of which minority schools will switch to teaching most subjects in Latvian. Lessons in Russian are supposed to be left for only a few subjects (Russian, Russian literature), as well as for "subjects related to culture and history". The gradual implementation of the reform will begin at the beginning of the new school year, and will end by September 1, 2021.

This intention caused a wave of discontent among the Russian-speaking residents of Latvia, which make up about 40% of the country's population. Defenders of Russian schools have already held many mass rallies, marches and actions in protest of the reform.

In addition, the Latvian parliament previously adopted, and the country's president approved, the amendments to the law on higher education developed by the Ministry of Education and Science, according to which, since the beginning of 2019, a ban on studying in Russian in private universities and colleges was introduced in the republic. These educational institutions, along with the state ones, should implement training programs only in the Latvian language or in one of the other official EU languages, to which Russian doesn't belong.