The Latvian government continues its crackdown on the Russian language in the country’s schools, Miroslav Mitrofanov, co-chairman of the Latvian Russian Union (LRU) told reporters on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, the Latvian government banned schoolchildren from passing state exams in any languages except the Latvian one. The decision was criticized by the LRU.

“Exams are not the aim. The aim is to remove the Russian language from national minorities’ schools, to reduce its importance down to an elective course. In order to prevent that, it is necessary to renew the activities of the Russian School Defense Staff and revive protests,” Mitrofanov said.

The Latvian language is the only official language in Latvia while up to 40 percent of the country’s population speak Russian as a mother tongue.

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