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Latvia to vote in Russian language referendum

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Latvia to vote in Russian language referendum


Latvians will vote in a referendum later on Saturday on whether to make Russian the country’s second official language.

The vote is being held after the pro-Russian language group collected the signatures of more than 10 percent of registered voters.

However, it is unlikely to pass because more than half of all voters, or 770,000 people, must say yes.

Latvia regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, declaring Latvian as the only official language. Russian speakers have long complained of discrimination. Hundreds of thousands of Russian settlers were sent to the country during the Soviet Era.

Today, ethnic Russians make up one third of Latvia’s two million population.

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