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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

OSCE Backs Latvia

RIGA, Latvia — The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Friday approved new regulations meant to bolster the status of the Latvian language.

The rules set proficiency levels for non-native speakers in public jobs and require all state-sponsored events to be conducted in Latvian. Members of the nation’s huge Russian-speaking minority have said the language laws discriminate against Russian speakers.

But Max van der Stoel, the OSCE minorities commissioner, said, "I view the regulations as being essentially in conformity with both the law and Latvia’s international obligations."