The Baltic counties must renounce double standards with respect to Russian-speaking people, Gennady Seleznev, the State Duma Speaker (the lower house of parliament) said on Monday at a briefing in St. Petersburg.
In his words, "today Latvian and Estonian authorities feel uneasiness, as Russia gives them no rest either in the PACE (the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe), nor in the OSCE (the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe)." Seleznev noted that Russia criticizes the OSCE that its inspectors has stopped the monitoring of the policy Latvia is pursuing with respect to national minorities and Russian-speaking people, in particular. "We insist that they stop their provocative protests with respect to WWII veterans," the speaker said.
He pointed out that Strasbourg is considering cases that can lead to negative consequences for these states. The whole country may be accused of violating human rights.
"I understand that the Baltic countries are sponsored by Scandinavian donor states, but these donor states will feel unwell if they are criticized by others for using double standards," the speaker stressed.
When commenting on the situation around national minorities in Latvia, the speaker said" this practice should be put an end to." It is common knowledge that the discrimination policy is being pursued with respect to Russian-speaking people in the Baltic countries. The Russians are being dismissed, they are denied the citizenship, Russian schools are being closed down. Recently one of the most odious ways to persecute Russian people has spread in Latvia, i.e. to arrest the veterans of World War II.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969