An ethnic Russian minority population in Latvia and Estonia (both of which joined the European Union along with Lithuania in 2004) has been continually reporting discrimination and denial of political and social rights, such as citizenship and employment by the Baltic Governments. Russian authorities have done little to promote the social wellbeing of their people in these countries, as most of their efforts have not had the desired effect. It has been reported that the core problem in this situation is that Latvian aliens were not thought of as non-citizens, but as stateless persons. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, many members of the Russian minority, especially in Latvia, where the conditions are the worst, have launched a united campaign protesting to be recognized as citizens and also for the Russian language to be adopted as the second national language in the region, but to not much avail. Authorities claim that their goal is to develop a process of exchange and cooperation between all the stakeholders. Seeking help from the UN, Moscow has insisted that both countries abide by international resolve against racial/ ethnic discrimination and stop denying citizenship rights to ethnic Russians.
Source: Baltic States Faulted for Discriminating Against Minorities, Kester Kenn Klomegah, IPS News, 20th April 2011, http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=54877
Russian Minority Struggles In Post-Soviet Estonia, David Greene, npr, 23rd August 2010, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129333023
Student Researchers: Varsha Ponnappa, Rebecca Wojno, and Meghan Voigt
Faculty Instructor: Kevin Howley Ph D.
Evaluator: Brett O’Bannon Ph D., Political Science