Latvia rejects Russian language
RIGA - Reuters
Latvians voted overwhelmingly Feb. 18 to reject a proposal to make Russian a second official language, in a referendum that has heightened ethnic tensions. The vote was initiated by Latvia
’s pro-Russian lobby, which says the large Russian-speaking minority has been denied equal rights since Latvia gained independence in 1991. Many Latvians saw the vote as a Kremlin-backed attempt to turn the clock back on independence and push the country back into Russia
’s sphere of influence.