That sounds like a result then! YES!!!
19 Feb 2012 (Great Britain (UK))
Thank God for that. Hopefully this issue is now dead. I wonder what trick the Russians will try next, especially when arch thug Putin comes to power.
19 Feb 2012 (Canada)
Great, Great News, is it fixed now or can it be,such that they don't pull this again?
19 Feb 2012 (United States)
Well this, thank God, is won, but they are at works for other pro-russian things. So we need to keep our eyes and ears open.
19 Feb 2012 (Netherlands)
Just a reminder. Latvia has not yet ratified the EU Convention on the minority languages. The most significant end result of the referendum is that the region of Latgalia voted for the support of the Russian language, so now there is going to be pressure to allow using Russian on municipal level in Latgalia. For the Europeans it would make sense, they will likely support the Russian minorities in this case and will also pressure the Latvian government to adjust its language policies to the EU convention. So the results of the referendum is not the end of the issue but the beginning of the long battle, prepare for another possible referendums coming... they will come in waves. That's horrible, but that is the reality of today's country, whose people is split in two autonomous communities.
20 Feb 2012 (Finland)
Some of the arguments put forward by the russians for the referendum lacked credence. I am a latvian refugee born in Germany, now living in Australian. Thanks to my now deceased parents I still have maintained my latvian culture and language despite my integration into the Ozzy psyche.Some of the Russian arguments for recognizing russian so as to preserve their culture in latvia is akin to every immigrant who fled europe asking their new host countries to also recognise their europe language as an offical langauge of that country. All immigrants and residents must respect and abide by the sovereign rule and constitution of their host country. Just imagine the reaction if such demands where made upon some of the middle east and asian countries who have no tolerance for foreign customs or alternative religious beliefs.
20 Feb 2012 (Australia)
It was a strange election. A 'record' number of people voted with hand written paper ballots but they knew the results within 2 hours after the polls closed here. Even Russian areas of Latvia voted overwhelmingly against Russian becoming a second language. Personally I am disappointed in this. The Russian referendum would probably have lost anyway. The need to commit fraud by the Election Commission was not necessary. But the fraud was so obvious that it made the voting a joke. Now 50% of the Latvian population feels even more marginalized. The only way Latvia is going to be a successful country is to bring everyone together. Not to divide people. Everyone who lives in Latvia and loves this country is a Latvian. Dividing people is just a distraction created by corrupt politicians so that they can do what they want. The majority of Latvians live in poverty with poor infrastructure while corrupt politicians steal with impunity and send their money to Swiss bank accounts.
20 Feb 2012 (Latvia)
Common sense prevails. I see some people are banging on about ethnic Russians human rights. Where were these people when the Baltic states was under the heel of a oppressive regime who couldn't give two hoots about other peoples Human Rights, Cultures and language. I hope now this issue is dead and the real issues of the day can be addressed.
20 Feb 2012 (Australia)
Until the people of Latvia set aside all of this divisiveness and begin working together for the betterment of Latvia then nothing is going to get better here in Latvia. While ethnic Latvians argue with ethnic Russians the Scandinavian banks are buying up all of Latvia. Soon Latvia will become only a place where Scandinavian countries raise their trees and their pigs and have access to cheap labour. Everyone who lives here and loves Latvia is a Latvian. It is time to leave the past behind and to focus on the future of Latvia.
24 Feb 2012 (Latvia)
As an American the sadness I feel that a multi-ethnic country as the Republic of Latvia should deny language rights to minority citizens hearkens back to the days of Stalinist and Nazi oppression. Let all the folk unite. In diversity there is strength.
25 Feb 2012 (United States)
The country is Latvia and the language is Latvian. No more needs to be said!!!!
11 Mar 2012 (United States)
Janis Blums hit the nail on the head. I was born in Latvija, and like Blums, now live in the USA. No one is denying the ethnic Russians of Latvija the right to speak Russian. This is simply a matter of maintaining the Latvijan language as the official one. Just like English is the only official language in the USA. To the best of my knowledge no other ethnic minorities are asking to have their language as a second offial language... they would be laughed at and ushered out of the door.
20 Mar 2012 (United States)