Another astonishing Russian Foreign Ministry comment slapped down by Latvia

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia said November 23 it felt "astonishment" at a comment made by the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation "questioning the judgement of the Constitutional Court of Latvia about the language of instruction in private education institutions in Latvia."

"The Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to clarify that the Latvian court is independent and takes decisions irrespective of politics. The Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, furthermore, draws attention to the fact that the Constitutional Court of Latvia has not made a decision on the elimination of private schools for national minorities in Latvia," a statement from the Latvian ministry said, adding that national minorities in Latvia "have much broader opportunities for learning their native language and culture-related subjects than they do in Russia."

Furthermore, officials from the Russian diplomatic service "appeared to have drawn their information from dubious sources that happen to be totally detached from reality," it added in a final, withering comment.

The statement was a riposte to a November 21 comment by the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Information and Press Department which claimed recent educational reform "deprives the Russian-speaking population of Latvia of the last opportunity to receive an education in their native language, even if they pay for it."

"We urge the international human rights community to step up pressure on the Latvian authorities given the critical situation for ethnic minorities and their native languages in this Baltic country," it added, describing the situation in typically hyperbolic style as "language terrorism".

The education reforms have met with protests in some quarters.

The statement came hot on the heels of another one which was highly critical of innacurate statements made by the Russian Foreign Ministry's chief spokeswoman, as previously reported by LSM.

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