Riga mayor blasts minority education plan in Washington

Riga City Mayor and Harmony party leader Nils Ušakovs during a working visit to Washington discussed the Latvian government’s plans for transition to education in the Latvian language for minority schools, saying that the planned reform poses serious risks to Latvia’s internal stability, Harmony reported.

Ušakovs visited the US in hid capacity as the leader of the Harmony party.

Ušakovs met with Senator Lindsey Graham and the first director of National Intelligence, diplomat John Negroponte.

"I expressed my position as the party s leader and the Riga mayor – the school reform poses serious risks to internal stability and Latvia’s security and can be viewed only as a political provocation," said Ušakovs.

He took to social media to ram the message home.

As previously reported, Latvia's ruling coalition has announced a plan for a gradual transition to the state language, which is Latvian, in ethnic minority high schools. The opposition parties representing Latvia's Russian-speaking electorate, including Usakovs' Harmony which is the ruling party in Riga, have raised strong objections to the reform plan.

Education and Science Minister Karlis Sadurskis (Unity party) announced on October 6 that all general education subjects in high schools in Latvia will be taught only in the Latvian language in the 2020/2021 school year while children of ethnic minorities will continue learning their native language, literature and subjects related to culture and history in the respective minority language.

As previously reported by LSM, a demonstration of hundreds performed a lap of Riga's Old Town December 14 protesting against the proposed educational reforms.

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