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Head of COE Considers the Issue of Russian-language speakers in Baltic Countries

On Tuesday a representative from the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe (COE), Rene van der Linden, began a weeks visit to the Baltic countries, reports RIA Novosti journalist for the outfit of the European Council.

According to the journalists report, from September 18th -24th van der Linden will visit Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. From the 18 to the 21 he will be in Tallinn, from the 21st-24th in Riga and on the 24th he will be in Vilnius.

It is expected that within the framework of the visit that the head of PACE will discuss the situation of the Russian-language population, as well as the problem of the heroification of Nazism. These plans were stated at a press-conference in Moscow in July, when he advised that he first wanted to visit the Baltic countries. The question of Russian-language speakers will definitely be on the agenda, said van der Linden.

The most serious situation regarding the Russian-language speakers minority is in Latvia and Estonia.

According to a collocutor from the agency, van der Linden intends to also discuss the role of the Council of Europe n the defense of social values: human rights and democracy, methods of avoiding the creation of new dividing lines in Europe, and intercultural and interfaith dialogue.

In the words of a collocutor from the organization, the head of the COE aims to meet with Estonias president Toomas Hendrik Ilves, as well as Urmas Paet, the minister of foreign affairs. Latvian and Lithuanian Prime ministers Aigar Kalvitis and Gediminas Kirilas will also be met, in addition to the members of the government and parliament heads of these countries, those elected, representatives of minority groups and students.

In Riga the representative of COE plans to meet the metropolitan of Riga and all Latvia, Alexander, and in Vilnius will meet with archbishop Vilnius Audris Yuozas Bachkis.



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