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Human rights defender says Estonian authorities uninterested in teaching state language to national minorities

Alisa Blintsova, a representative of the Russian School of Estonia noncommercial organization, told BaltNews.ee she doubts that the incumbent authorities will improve the state language teaching opportunities for the national minorities. 

A bill submitted by thirty deputies representing the Centrist Party and Estonian Conservative People’s Party factions looked to provide easy access to both printed and online free education materials and dictionaries for the people learning the Estonian language, including the Russian-speaking population of Estonia. The bill was rejected at the latest meeting of the parliament.

Alisa Blintsova suspects that the incumbent government is uninterested in teaching the Estonian language to the national minorities. She said the available free materials teaching Estonian are very poor and nothing has been done to improve them for the last four years, since she first studied them.

“Member of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Mihhail Stalnuhhin faced opposition of colleagues when he initiated a bill that looks to control the flows of the so-called ‘integration money’ distributed among others for teaching the Estonian language. I think, the government of Estonia lacks a political will to change the situation. Government representatives will be inventing thousands of reasons and excuses for not voting for the given bill,” she said.

Meantime, 29% of the population in Estonia consider the Russian language as their mother tongue, while 72% speak Russian. These are Russians, Jews, Belarusian, Germans, Poles, Ukrainians, and Tatars.


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