Riga mayor off the hook for Russian-language speech

The State Language Center (VVC) can only administer sanctions against the organizers of the events of May 9, referred to as Victory Day by most of the Russian-speaking world, but not against Riga Mayor Nils Ušakovs, who addressed the familiar proletarian masses of Riga in their mother tongue that day, reported LETA Friday.

The VVC state language inspectors pointed out that officials have no obligation to use the official national language (Latvian, by the way) in public, therefore may use any other language in their public speeches. However, the organizers, by not ensuring translation in the official language, are indeed in violation of the law and may face an administrative fine for their neglect.

Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs gave a speech in which he recounted tales of Nazi atrocities that had been told to him by members of his family - and of the family members he had himself lost.

"Family memory is not dependent on the political situation, geopolitical or ideological propaganda," Usakovs said.
 
"And family memories, never under any circumstances, should be be dismissed. That is why we always celebrate 9 May as Victory Day."

However the VVC said it has not taken a ruling on such a measure at this time.

The national center’s lingugistic cops confirmed they have also lauched a looking into Liepāja deputy mayor Jurijs Hodorovičs for a public speech he made in Russian on this day.

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