According to Foreign Minister Valdis Birkavs, Russian pressures on Latvia stem from “conflicting perspectives on Latvia’s future: the country’s clear orientation toward the European Union and NATO reduces Russian influence on Latvia.” Moscow reacts, Birkavs observed, by piling up demands on Latvia. He was commenting yesterday on the recrudescence of anti-Latvian polemics in Moscow.
On August 11, spokesman Valery Nesterushkin made public the Russian Foreign Ministry’s latest diplomatic demarches, which described the changes to Latvia’s citizenship law as “cosmetic” and demanded “real” changes to the citizenship, language, education, and labor laws in favor of “the Russian-speaking population.” “Normalization of Russian-Latvian relations is impossible without this,” the spokesman warned. (BNS, Itar-Tass, August 11 and 12)
KUCHMA VETOES POPULIST LEGISLATION.